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BJD-BJP clash mars polling in Odisha's Chikiti 

2 FIRs lodged by both the parties, security beefed up in the NAC

Published: 25th March 2022 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2022 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

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BJP Flags (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR: Peaceful polling in most places notwithstanding, elections to Chikiti Notified Area Council (NAC) in Ganjam district witnessed a flare-up in law and order situation following a series of clashes between supporters of BJD and BJP on Thursday. Police said two FIRs have been lodged by both the parties. 

A group of BJD workers went berserk after their fellow supporters were allegedly attacked. Accusing BJP to be behind the incident, they went on a rampage and reportedly vandalised several vehicles including the car of BJP leader Manu Dyansamantara. Condemning the act by the ruling party, BJP workers staged a dharna and called off the stir after police intervened.  

Sources say, one Kailash Mohanty, believed to be a BJD supporter, was detained and beaten up by a group of youths while he was returning after casting vote in Chikitigada booth no-4.  Injured grievously, Kailash was rushed to the local hospital and later referred to MKCG Medical College and Hospital. Meanwhile, another BJD supporter Trinath Bisoi along with others was entering a hotel when a group of BJP supporters allegedly thrashed them.

As the information of attack on BJD supporters spread, tension flared up in Chikitigada and Chikitipentho. While the leaders pacified the activists, the anger resurfaced when BJP chairperson candidate Puspa Sethy claimed that BJD activists were not allowing BJP voters into booth no-6 and criticised the ruling party. 
After her departure, alleging that Puspa had damaged the EVM at the booth, a group of BJD supporters reached the BJP office with lathis and damaged the vehicles parked in front of the office besides throwing Puspa’s two-wheeler into the nearby pond.

The ruling party supporters also allegedly attacked BJP activists, resulting in injuries to three of the saffron party supporters. Following the spate of incidents, BJP activists including Dyansamantara sat on dharna condemning the acts of the BJD. Receiving the information, Berhampur SP Pinak Mishra reached the spot and persuaded the agitators to withdraw the protest and assured action within 24 hours.

Police said, two FIRs were lodged by BJD and BJP. While the FIR by BJD named around 10 persons including BJP chairperson candidate Puspa for attack on BJD activists and causing damage to EVM, the complaint filed by the saffron party accused 20 BJD activists. In Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) limits, supporters of Opposition parties created a scene at Ankuli Bauri Sahi under Ward 40 after an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was reportedly found inside a car parked outside booth 233.

However, before any untoward incident could take place, deputy commissioner of BeMC Adwitya Swain clarified that the machine was kept on standby. Similarly, at booth 98 of Ward 17, some activists of Opposition parties reportedly tried to threaten the agents of ruling BJD but police pacified both the groups. Barring the sporadic incidents, urban elections in Ganjam district ended smoothly and recorded a polling of 58.33 per cent. 



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