BJP’s candidate from Kandhamal in Orissa, Ashok Sahu, gave the police a slip on Sunday night, after they had traced him to Nayagarh district.
Sahu has been accused of delivering hate speeches in communally-sensitive Kandhamal, where riots broke out last year, and faces a criminal case.
“Around 11-12 in the night, a joint team of Kandhamal and Nayagarh police went to a place under Odagaon police station where we had information about Sahu’s presence. Sahu was with 40-50 supporters. As soon as the police reached the spot, the supporters came in the way and Sahu managed to escape,” Nayagarh SP Jayanarayan Pankaj told Hindustan Times.
“We almost nabbed him. But he gave us the slip. The police team from Kandhamal is still looking for Sahu and we are extending all possible cooperation to them.”
DGP MM Praharaj said: “Legal action will be certainly taken against Sahu. As we are busy with the Maoist attack on Nalco mines, I’m not in a position to tell more on Ashok Sahu.”
Sahu, meanwhile, issued a press release on Monday saying, “I’m busy in my election campaigning in Kandhamal…Maoists are keeping track of my movements. Before starting my campaign, I had met the chief electoral officer and apprised her about the threat to my life. No security, whatsoever, has been provided to me. As I don’t have security, I’m not divulging my movements and whereabouts.
“I’m always surrounded by hundreds of my people and the police are afraid to arrest me during daytime. If a warrant of arrest has been issued in my name, it should be produced and shown to me. As a law abiding citizen, I will myself surrender.”