Odisha: BJD-backed sarpanch held for bid on BJP leader’s life

Berhampur police district continues to report poll-related violence

Published: 10th June 2022 05:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2022 05:24 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR:  Sadar police on Wednesday night arrested the BJD-backed sarpanch of Masiakhali panchayat in connection with the murderous attack on a BJP leader and two of his supporters.
He was identified as Kapala Bulu. Police said Bulu was the mastermind behind the attack on former Masiakhali sarpanch and BJP leader Manoj Sethi and his supporters Shankar Jena and Durga Prasad Pradhan.

In the panchayat elections held earlier this year, Bulu, the BJD supported candidate, was elected the sarpanch of Masiakhali. Sources said enmity developed between Bulu and Sethi during the election as the latter fielded and supported a candidate from BJP. 

Berhampur SP Sarvana Vivek M said investigation revealed that on Monday night, an altercation broke out between Sethi and Bulu as the former sarpanch was not invited to an opera show organised on the occasion of Sital Sasthi Yatra in the village. The matter was resolved after intervention of villagers and both of them left the spot.

When Sethi and his two supporters were returning home, Bulu, G Prakash, G Pradip, Manoj Sahu, Balaram Gouda and K Bhagaban intercepted them near the village. Bulu allegedly instructed his supporters to murder Sethi following which the five attacked the former sarpanch with sharp weapons. When Jena and Pradhan came to Sethi’s rescue, they too were attacked. 

The SP said the weapons used in the attack have been seized. While Sethi and his supporters are undergoing treatment in the hospital, the six accused have been arrested. Further investigation is underway to ascertain the involvement of others in the attack.

Meanwhile, Berhampur police district continued to report incidents of poll-related violence. On Wednesday night, a youth sustained stab injuries in a group clash at Bomkai village in Chikiti. He was identified as Tofan Pradhan, a BJD worker. 

Sources said Pradhan and his friends were attending the ongoing 12-day Mukta Devi Yatra in the village. The BJD worker reportedly came aside to receive a call on his cellphone. Finding him alone, his rival group attacked him with sharp weapons. Pradhan sustained deep wounds on his abdomen, chest and hand. He was rushed to Chikiti hospital and later shifted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital.

In Digapahandi, panchayat samiti member of Bhismagiri Sibaram Mohanty lodged a complaint with police on Wednesday alleging that his rivals threatened to kill him and his family members. On Tuesday night, his rival group armed with swords reached his house and threatened him with dire consequences, Mohanty claimed.

On Tuesday night, a youth was murdered in cold blood and another sustained critical injuries after being attacked by their rivals at Jamuna village within Purusottampur police limits.


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