BHUBANESWAR: A manhunt has been launched to nab Om Prakash Mishra, the BJP candidate for Satyabadi assembly constituency, who along with his supporters allegedly destroyed EVMs and tore poll documents in a booth during the third phase of polling in Odisha on April 23, police said.
"The BJP candidate is absconding since then," Puri Superintendent of Police, Umashankar Dash, told reporters. Three police teams have raided Mishra's residence at Hansapal in Bhubaneswar but could not find him, the SP said.
The police action came on the basis of a complaint lodged by the Presiding Officer, Shivaram Mohapatra.
Mishra and his supporters allegedly entered a polling booth at Birakishorepur village under Kanas block on April 23 and vandalised the EVMs, the presiding officer said in the complaint.
They also allegedly tore important documents related to the polling process, Mohapatra said. "One of them also tried to fire from his pistol, but it slipped from his hand," said Mohapatra.
The BJP candidate and his supporters fled from the booth in the face of protests by voters.
Meanwhile, two persons identified as Manas Samantaray and Akshaya Kumar Biswal have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident. Both are supporters of Om Prakash Mishra, the police official said.
Earlier, a BJP candidate for Sorada assembly seat, Nilamani Bisoi, was arrested on charge of breaking an EVM and preventing polling officials from discharging their duty.
BJD candidate and sitting MLA from Pipili assembly segment, Pradeep Maharathy, has also been arrested on the charge of attacking a magistrate of the EC's flying squad in Puri district.
Assembly and Lok Sabha elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha.