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Vikash Sharma

Tension prevailed during the conduct of the second phase Panchayat polls at Baranga in Cuttack district after miscreants snatched the ballot box after terrorising the people present at the booth, on Friday.

As per preliminary reports, weapon-wielding miscreants decamped with a ballot box from booth-11 at Kurangapradhan Panchayat in Baranga. Though a Sarpanch candidate and others tried to stop the miscreants, they could not save the ballot box.

Palpable tension prevailed in the area after the villagers staged a road blockade demanding immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the loot of the ballot box. The villagers also demanded re-polling at the booth. A complaint in this connection has been lodged at the Cuttack Sadar Police station.

In another incident, unidentified miscreants threw a ballot box into a pond in Jajpur district. It is alleged that the miscreants had looted the ballot box from booth number 9 at Dasarathpur Block in the district.

As per reports, the incident occurred when the voting had already ended at the booth and the officials were sealing the ballot boxes which were to be shifted to the Block headquarters. It was then the miscreants entered the booth and decamped with a ballot box. They later threw it in a pond in the vicinity.

Meanwhile, the personal vehicle of a presiding officer reportedly carrying a ballot box came under attack from locals in Komna Block of Nuapada district today.  The mob, suspecting some foul, damaged the vehicle.

Irate locals have detained the polling party despite the culmination of voting in the area. The villagers raised serious doubts over the transportation a ballot box in the personal vehicle of the presiding officer, hastening the attack.

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