Vikash Sharma

Lapses in security arrangements in the ongoing Odisha Panchayat polls became the talking point once again after miscreants were successful in looting two ballot boxes at booth no 4 and 6 in Bachala Panchayat under Binjharpur block of Jajpur district on Sunday.

As per preliminary reports, four miscreants entered the booth and decamped with the ballot boxes at between 9: 15 am and 9:30 am today. Later, the miscreants reportedly threw the boxes in a nearby pond.

Following the incident, palpable tension prevailed in the area with locals demanding arrest of those involved in the ballot box loot incident. The voting at the booth has been stalled.

In another incident, voting for the 3rd phase Panchayat elections was also disrupted at booth no- 8, 9, 10 and 11 at Soti village in Jajpur district following rigging allegations during the third phase polling today.

Korei BDO was allegedly assaulted in front of polling booth at Soti village under Goleipur Panchayat after he rushed to the spot on getting information about the irregularities.

The voting for the third phase Odisha Panchayat elections is currently underway in 63 blocks of 29 districts for 171 Zilla Parishad (ZP) zones and 1,382 Gram Panchayats (GPs) having 18,495 Wards in the State.