Phulbani,17/04/19: Just a few hours before the commencement of second phase polls, a polling official was shot dead allegedly by Maoists near Barahla village under Gochhapada Police limits of Kandhamal district today.
As per reports, the deceased, identified as Gram Rojgar Sevak Sanjkuta Digal along with three others, was on her way to a Barahla booth on poll duty in a vehicle. There was a landmine explosion in front of the vehicle following which the occupants moved out of it. Suddenly, bullets were fired, allegedly by Maoists. Though three of the four persons escaped unhurt, Sanjukta was hit by a bullet on her head and died on the spot.
“There was a landmine explosion in front of our vehicle and we had a narrow escape. To save us, the driver drove back amid heavy firing,” said Prakash Chandra Das, another poll official who was present in the vehicle.
“We had gone to the village to supervise polling at the designated booth. No police personnel were accompanying us,” added Das.
In another incident today, a group of Maoists torched a vehicle of the polling party which was on its way to Mungunipadar booth under Phiringia Police limits. The Maoists, after dragging the poll officials out, torched their vehicle.
Cuttack,17/04/19: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today held a mega roadshow in the Millenium City, Cuttack as part of his marathon campaign for the third and fourth phase elections in Odisha.
The Odisha CM also offered prayers at the Chandi Temple here during his visit to Cuttack to campaign for the party candidates Bharturhari Mahtab from the Cuttack Lok Sabha and Debasish Samnatray from Cuttack-Barabati Assembly segment.
The roadshow which started from CDA will culminate at Press Chhak at Khapuria. All the party nominees for the ensuing Assembly and LS poll including local leaders participated in the mega roadshow.
Cuttack parliamentary constituency will go to polls in the third phase elections in Odisha, scheduled to be held on April 23.
Bhubaneswar,17/04/19:The Election Commission of India has suspended General Observer of Sambalpur Lok Sabha Constituency Mohammed Mohsin for inspecting PM Modi’s helicopter.
The Prime Minister had visited Odisha on Tuesday and addressed two rallies in Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar in a helicopter. However, the flying squad officers conducted a search in the helicopter.
As per an ECI press note, Karnataka-cadre IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin, who is deputed in Sambalpur as the General Observer has been placed under suspension with immediate effect for ‘actions contrary to the instructions of the commissions regarding SPG protesters’.
The Commission has considered the material available before it and prima facie finds it dereliction of duty,” said the letter.
The Election Commission of India appoints general observers in all parliamentary constituencies to ensure the conduct of a free and fair election. These are always officers from outside the state to ensure transparency and distance from the local administration.
In its suspension order, the Election Commission referred to a set of rules it had formulated in April 2014 for “SPGs” and another from March 2019.
Bhubaneswar/Puri,14/04/19:A poll flying squad seized a refrigerators and mixers grinders laden mini-truck near Jankia-Gadasahi chhak under Kanas block of the district today.
Police, though are yet to ascertain more details about the seizure, suspected that the kitchen appliances were being carried in the vehicle to influence voters by distributing among them during the ongoing elections.
Puri district collector Jyotiprakash Das, while speaking to the newsmen, said, “Acting on a tip-off, a flying squad seized a vehicle that was carrying refrigerators and mixers grinders today. We apprehend that they were being taken to distribute among the voters.”
“An investigation is underway to ascertain more details about the matter and identify the owner of the vehicle which had a registration number of OD 02 AZ 2876,” he added.
Notably, election to Puri Lok Sabha and the assembly constituencies coming under them will be conducted in the third phase on April 23.
Khurda,14/04/19:As electoral battle keeps Odisha on fire ahead of the remaining three rounds of elections, incidents of pre-poll violence have begun to hit the State politics. Just hours after pre-poll violence erupted in Bolangir, a well-known leader of Khurda BJP unit was shot dead by an unidentified miscreant in the town late Sunday night.
Following the incident, the BJP has called for Khurda bandh from 8 am to 2 pm today.
According to information, a bike-borne miscrent fired three rounds of bullets and killed BJP’s Khurda Mandal president Manguli Jena near party’s Nabina Bag office in the town.
Khurda BJP MLA candidate Kalu Khandayatra who witnessed the incident said, “As Jena was about to leave us after a meeting, we were discussing with him on the road while suddenly, a person riding a scooty came and shot two rounds of bullets at him and also opened fire another round of bullet at me. Even though I escaped unhurt, Jena was killed.”
Asked about the reason behind the incident, Khandayatra said that he could not identify the accused who had covered his head with a helmet but blamed that it could be BJD’s goodaraj to eliminate him.
Bhubaneswar,14/04/19:With the conclusion of first phase polls, the State unit of BJP has levelled serious allegations of ostracisation of its party workers in Chikiti Assembly constituency of Ganjam district.
BJP candidate from the constituency, Manoranjan Samantaray has alleged that BJD activists have ostracised his supporters and agents at several places of the Assembly segment after the conclusion of first phase elections.
In a video clip, one G Debendra, a supporter of Samantaray was seen narrating the ordeal how BJD workers have been threatening and ostracised him for campaigning for the BJP candidate.
“Neither we are being allowed to use village water, nor are we allowed to buy ration. No one is also communicating with us and the only reason for that is, we are supporting a different party other than BJD,” said complainant G Debendra.
Not only Debendra, but BJD activists have also resorted to threatening BJP agents and workers by forcibly collecting Rs 1000 from them as penalty for supporting the saffron party.
“At least six agents of our party in Govindpur village have been penalised with Rs 1000 while many others have been ostracised. I too was also attacked by BJD activists. We demand that something needs to be done to end this hooligansim right away,” said BJP candidate Manoranjan Samantaray.
Jajpur,14/04/19: Continuing with its crackdown on suspect money ahead of the polls, an election flying squad today seized unaccounted cash worth over Rs 15 lakh from a car in Garamia area in Jajpur district.
The cash seizure was made by the officials during a vehicle check which was being conducted with Sukinda Police’s assistance on a road connecting Rengali late in the night. After intercepting a car boarded by three persons and carrying out a search of it, the officials came across cash worth Rs 15.31 lakh and seized those.
While the interrogation of the held trio is underway to find out the source of the cash, it is being suspected that the money was being sent for poll expenditure.
Notably, in a similar incident in the same night election flying squad officials had seized Rs 95,000 from a SUV under Bangiriposhi Assembly constituency in Mayurbhanj district.