Peaceful poll despite Maoist bandh

Berhampur: Despite a bandh call given by Maoists, the fourth phase of three-tier panchayat election passed off peacefully in the naxal-hit areas in Ganjam and Kandhamal districts today.

The elections for four blocks in Ganjam district, including the Maoist-infested Sorada and three blocks in Kandhamal district-Phiringia, Khajuripada and Phulbani went to poll in the fourth phase.

With this, election for panchayat polls in all 12 blocks in Kandhamal district was completed. "Bandh called by Maoists had no impact on polling," said a senior police officer.

Maoists have called two-day bandh in Ganjam and Kandhamal districts since yesterday protesting against the arrest of their three cadres by Ganjam police recently.

The bandh call evoked partial response in some pockets like Daringibadi, Bramhanigaon and Kotagarh as vehicular traffic were hit and shops closed for the second day. Government offices and educational institutes ran as usual, said an officer.