PURI: Campaigning for panchayat polls turned violent on Monday when a youth attacked Panchayati Raj Minister Maheswar Mohanty at an election meeting in Bramhagiri constituency of the district.
The incident occurred when Mohanty was addressing the meeting at Bramhana Olandi village under Chandanpur police stations limits in the evening. The youth, wearing saree and disguised as a woman, came from behind and struck Mohanty with an iron pipe. A profusely bleeding Mohanty fell down on the dais.
BJD MLA from Bramhagiri Sanjay Dasburma, who was on the dais, and other party members, rushed Mohanty to Puri Sadar Hospital. He was later shifted to Kalinga Hospital and has been kept under observation at the neuro-surgery department. The Minister sustained injuries on his head.
The youth, Balabhadra Bhoi, was immediately arrested, but not before Mohanty’s supporters bashed him up. It is yet to be ascertained whether the youth belonged to any political party. However, political rivalry is suspected to be the reason behind the attack.
Chandanpur was in the news recently because of the alleged abduction and kidnapping of a minor in March last year. There is strong local resentment as nobody has so far been arrested even after 10 months of the incident.