Indian Express

3 Congress workers arrested for Odisha post-poll violence

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Three Congress workers were arrested from Aul area of Odisha’s Kendrapara district on Sunday in connection with post-poll violence that left a man dead and four injured even as prohibitory orders remained in force in the district.

Police have also launched a hunt to nab those responsible for the assault of a block development officer Sushant Kumar Pati and vandalising his house after EVMs were found stockpiled in a vehicle in front of his official residence here.

Kendrapara Superintendent of Police Rabi Narayan Behera said the three Congress supporters were taken into custody in connection with Friday’s post-poll violence between BJD and Congress workers at Badiha village.

Search is on for the 12 others who were also involved in the incident, he said adding police have also launched a simultaneous manhunt to nab persons who had triggered mob violence and roughed up the BDO, he said.

Meanwhile, the district election office stored 388 unused Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in a specially created strongroom in the district headquarters town under armed security following the detection of stockpiling of EVMs in front of the residence of Marshghai BDO’s residence.

Suspecting tampering of EVMs which had Kendrapara Lok Sabha and Mahakalpada Assembly written on them,  a mob that included residents of the area had beaten up Pati.

Kendrapara Collector Nitin Bhanudas Jawale said the 388 reserve EVMs which were not used for voting were brought from all the block headquarters and stored in a new strongroom in the presence of representatives of all political parties.

“Tight security ring has been provided at the place and the 28 unused EVMs that were found loaded in a vehicle parked at the BDO’s official residence have been handed over to the police. A case has also been registered,” he said.

The district election office has meanwhile recommended initiation of disciplinary action against the erring BDO to the Election Commission.

An official letter in this regard has been sent to the commission through chief electoral officer, Jawale said adding the BDO had ‘perpetrated an impropriety’ in diverting the EVMs to his residence instead of sending it to the strong room.

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