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Rashmi Ranjan

Unabated violence continued to mar the Panchayat polls in Odisha with police becoming the latest victim of the villagers’ aggression during the third phase voting, on Sunday.

As per reports, some police officers were beaten up by irate villagers at Rajnagar in Kendrapara district following tension at a polling booth this morning.

Tension erupted at booth number-3 at Gokhani village under Dera Panchayat after a villager, whose name was not in the voter list, was made an agent in the booth.

As the unrest escalated, a police team rushed to the spot to pacify the angry villagers. However, the mob attacked the police personnel when the latter were trying to resolve the matter, sources said.

Meanwhile, the villagers alleged that the police attacked them first to which they retaliated. 

“Tension erupted at the booth over deployment of an agent who is under-aged. The police came and started beating up the voters who were lined up to exercise their franchise. Moreover, the police also attempted to pick up a former Sarpanch,” a local alleged. 

When the situation went out of control, a police officer reportedly brandished his service revolver to disperse the angry mob, the villagers alleged further.

Refuting the allegations leveled by the villagers, a police officer said, “No one has been assaulted by the cops. After we were informed about the tension at the booth, we immediately rushed to the spot. While trying to normalise the situation, a group of miscreants in inebriated condition attacked us. I sustained injuries on my head and ear. I am not able to hear anything in my left ear,” said a police officer, who was attacked by the mob.

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