On the day of crucial third phase polling in the Panchayat polls, Rayagada police on Sunday achieved a major success after detecting a live tiffin bomb planted by Maoists. The explosive was seized at a bridge near the Niyamgiri hill.
It is suspected that the explosive was planted by the rebels with an intention to target the security forces and disrupt the election process. The entire area has been cordoned and combing operation has been intensified by the security forces.
It is pertinent to mention here that 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.
As per the State Election Commission (SEC), the total voter turnout was 15 percent after two hours of polling at 9 am.
In another development, villagers refrained from voting in booths no 6, 7 and 8 in Balabhadrapur under Naradpur Panchayat in Keonjhar district over a five-point charter of demands. Earlier, the villagers had threatened to boycott the Panchayat elections on January 26 over lack of civic amenities including drinking water, roads and electricity.
In Jajpur district also voters boycott polling at booth no 10 in Kaunri panchayat under Binjharpur block over alleged shifting of booth.
The villagers alleged that the booth in their area was shifted to another place for which they have to cover an additional distance of 3 km. They alleged that they had been exercising their franchise at a booth in their area for the last 30 years. But now, the authorities have shifted the booth causing severe inconvenience to them.