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Vikash Sharma

Keonjhar: In yet another instance of growing political violence in Odisha, unidentified miscreants allegedly attempted to attack Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President Niranjan Patnaik on Sunday.

As per preliminary reports, four to five miscreants intercepted Patnaik's vehicle during his visit to Keonjhar district today.

The incident occurred near Kashipur under the Town Police limits. The miscreants were reportedly in an inebriated state and thrashed Patnaik’s driver and personal security officer (PSO).

An FIR was lodged at the Town police station by Patnaik's security personnel in his presence. On the basis of the complaint, a case was registered under Sections 341, 294, 323, 307, 427 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"Some youths intercepted our vehicle and tried to attack the vehicle. When I stepped out of the car, they grabbed me by the neck and thrashed me. Later, the youths rushed towards the driver. Only after other Congress members rushed to the spot, the miscreants escaped," said Rakesh Singh, PSO.

Biplab Mishra, Keonjhar district Congress president said, "The incident occurred at around 8 pm. The miscreants tried to attack the vehicle of PCC President Niranjan Patnaik. The miscreants had come in a white SUV. We have lodged a police complaint in connection with the incident."

Mishra said that, "The reason behind the attack bid is unclear. The district Congress Committee will launch agitation if there is any delay in  investigation into the matter."

Responding to the alleged attack, PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said he does not suspect any political motive behind it.

"Apperently the youths were returning from a picnic in an inabriated state and intercepted our vehicle after overtaking near Kashipur. When my PSO stepped out of the vehicle to inquire, they assaulted him. However, such an incident in a place like Keonjhar is alarming," he said.

Meanwhile, the members of the Youth wing of Congress blocked the road in front of Keonjhar Collectorate protesting against the deteriorating law and order situation. They demanded immediate action in the matter.

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