Spurt in poll violence in Odisha, BJP alleges hooliganism by BJD

Bhubaneswar/Bargarh: Ahead of the second phase polls in Odisha, multiple incidents of violence were reported yesterday in several districts of the State and in all the cases BJD workers were accused of attacking BJP leaders and party members.

A youth said to be a supporter of BJP was allegedly beaten to death at Kadalijhola Village under Sorada Police limits of Ganjam district following which BJP supporters staged road blockade in protest.

In another incident, mutilated body of a person, said to be a BJP worker, was found in Agajhola village. The body has been shifted to Bhanjanagar hospital while locals alleged that he has been murdered.

In Kendrapara, three members of a family were attacked with sharp weapons allegedly by Barimula Panchayat Sarpanch and BJD workers for attending a rally organised by BJP. All the injured were admitted to Kendrapara district headquarters hospital.

Last night, crude bombs were reportedly hurled at BJP party ward office near Delta Colony in Unit-VIII area of Bhubaneswar. However, the hurled bombs failed to go off. Police immediately reached the spot and destroyed the 3 bombs.

Earlier in the day, in Mangala slum area of Niladri Vihar in Bhubaneswar, BJD workers allegedly attacked BJP members while they were campaigning for Bhubaneswar-North candidate Aparajita Mohanty. As many as nine BJP workers including party’s Bhubaneswar district General Secretary Sushant Sabat and Chandrasekharpur Mandal leader Manasi Manjari Ray Padhi sustained critical injuries in the attack. Subsequently, a complaint was lodged by the BJP at Chandrasekharpur police station alleging that they were attacked by the ‘ruling-BJD goons’.

Political violence was also seen in Bargarh district ahead of the second phase polls. BJP’s Bijepur Assembly candidate Sanath Gartia was attacked yesterday. Gartia, who has been fielded by the saffron party against Odisha CM and BJD president Naveen Patnaik from the constituency, had reportedly gone to visit some of his supporters when the incident occurred. Stones were reportedly hurled at Gartiya’s car at Kandhara village in Bijepur when he was inside the vehicle. However, Gartia and his associates are safe, said sources. Later, Gartia lodged a police complaint with Bijepur police alleging involvement of some BJD workers in the incident.

Similarly, in Bargarh’s Bhatli area, brother of State Minister Sushant Singh, Subrat Singh and his supporters allegedly attacked some BJP leaders and workers regarding which a complaint was lodged at police station. In the attack, former vice-chairman and former Sarpanch of Bhatli block suffered injuries.

Later, a BJP delegation met Odisha DG-in-charge BK Sharma demanding action against minister Sushant Singh, his brother Subrat & the one who attacked Gartia. The saffron party threatened to gherao DGP office demanding immediate action in the case.

A team of BJP on Wednesday met the Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) demanding complete stop on such incidents.

Late on Sunday night, BJP’s Khurda mandal president Manguli Jena was shot dead by an unidentified miscreant in the town. Following the incident, the BJP called for Khurda bandh from 8 am to 2 pm on Monday. According to information, a bike-borne miscreant fired three rounds of bullets and killed Jena near party’s Nabina Bag office in the town.

Targeting the Odisha government over the incident, BJP national president Amit Shah during his visit to the State said by murdering BJP worker, they cannot intimidate us. PM Modi had also condemned such violence in Odisha.