Former BeMC mayor arrested for attack on Pradeep Panigrahy

Scuffle between the two results in injuries to Pradeep, while court rejects bail plea of Siva
Independent candidate Siva being taken to judicial custody after his bail plea was rejected
Independent candidate Siva being taken to judicial custody after his bail plea was rejected(Photo | Express)

BERHAMPUR: High drama unfolded in Berhampur after Independent candidate for the Berhampur Assembly segment Siva Shankar Dash was arrested on Tuesday on charges of assaulting BJP Lok Sabha seat candidate Pradeep Panigrahy.

A case was registered against Siva, including charges of attempt to murder, based on Pradeep’s complaint. He was presented before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate court, where his bail petition was rejected and he was remanded in judicial custody. With tension prevailing in the Gosaninuagaon area, armed police have been deployed in the area.

Meanwhile, police investigation is underway, with CCTV footage of the incident being collected for examination. Berhampur SP Sarthak Sarangi said further investigation into the matter is on. A counter FIR has also been registered at Gosaninuagaon police station based on a complaint filed by Siva’s wife, Asha Kumari Dash.

The incident occurred on Monday evening during a scuffle between the two, resulting in injuries to Pradeep, who was subsequently admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital for treatment.

Doctors at MKCG Medical College and Hospital detected bleeding wounds on Pradeep’s shoulder and cracks in his rib. He was shifted to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, for further medical attention.

The altercation between Pradeep and Siva reportedly took place after polling concluded at booth numbers 132 and 133 in Gosaninuagaon. BJP agents found that the EVMs at the polling station were not sealed, leading to the arrival of Pradeep and his supporters. As Pradeep was engaged in discussions with polling officials and police, Siva allegedly attacked him from behind. Both sustained injuries, with Pradeep requiring medical treatment for bleeding wounds and chest pain.

Following police intervention, Pradeep was taken to MKCG Medical College and Hospital for treatment and Siva apprehended. Demanding release of Siva, hundreds of supporters including women gheraoed Gosaninuagaon police station. Since police efforts to disperse the crowd proved futile, prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC was promulgated in the area to vacate the supporters of Siva.

Siva, a former mayor of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) and aspirant for BJD candidacy, has a history of political rivalry with Pradeep, who recently joined BJP and secured the party’s MP ticket for Berhampur LS constituency.

Siva was inducted into BJD by late Surjya Narayan Patro. He was an aspirant for BJD ticket in 2009 but denied a chance when Pradeep was looking after the party affairs in the district.

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