With violence continuing unabated across Odisha amid the ongoing Panchayat elections, the State Election Commission on Friday asked the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to ensure free and fair polling in the remaining three phases. “There are incidents of violence in the post-poll scenario at different places in the state, which is a matter of serious concern for the Commission,” State Election Commissioner Rabinarayan Senapati wrote in a letter to both Chief Secretary A P Padhi and DGP K B Singh. He said after counting of votes in the first phase of polling on February 13 in 65 blocks, incidents of violence have occurred at different places.
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There were also allegations on the conduct of some government servants about getting themselves involved in political activities, Senapati said. “I would therefore request you to take necessary steps to issue suitable instructions to the Superintendents of Police to prevent any incident of post-poll violence and to ensure safety and security of polling personnel as well as the general public, candidates and others,” he said in the letter.
“Strict vigil, alertness and prompt action are needed to prevent occurrence of any such incidents in the next phases of election. Police officials shall be suitably instructed to maintain impartiality and neutrality in their conduct in order to ensure free and fair elections,” the letter said.