One dead in Odisha post-poll violence, prohibitory orders clamped in Kendrapara district | india | Hindustan Times
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One dead in Odisha post-poll violence, prohibitory orders clamped in Kendrapara district

Prohibitory orders were clamped on Saturday following the death of a person in post-poll violence and an assault on a block development officer by an irate mob for alleged poll malpractices in two separate incidents in Odisha's politically-volatile Kendrapara district.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2014 19:39 IST
Priya Ranjan Sahu

Prohibitory orders were clamped on Saturday following the death of a person in post-poll violence and an assault on a block development officer by an irate mob for alleged poll malpractices in two separate incidents in Odisha's politically-volatile Kendrapara district.

"Assembly of more than four persons has been prohibited under Section 144 of the IPC. The order will remain in force for the next 24 hours," police superintendent RN Behera said.

On Friday evening, a clash between supporters of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Congress in Aul assembly segment of Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency, about 100 km east of Bhubaneswar, left a middle-aged BJD worker dead and four others injured.

Police said investigations were on to ascertain the cause behind the violence and find the culprits.

The clash occurred following allegations of rampant malpractice in poll process by the ruling party and even government officials. The accusations gained credence after a local television channel showed footage of rigging in Aul assembly segment in the district.

The footage in 'Focus Odisha' news channel showed an unidentified person accompanying two different girls and helping them to press a specific button in the EVM even as poll officials watched on.

In neighbouring Mahakalpada assembly segment, tension ran high after people found a vehicle carrying 10 electronic voting machines (EVMs) in front of the official quarter of SK Pati, block development officer (BDO) of Marsaghai under the constituency.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik's arch-rival Bijay Mohapatra is contesting in Mahakalpada.

Soon after a mob ransacked Pati's house, dragged him out and beat him up. Police had to resort to baton charge to disperse the crowd.

Later, opposition BJP and Congress sat on demonstration demanding a probe into the rigging and tampering of EVMs by government officials to favour the BJD.

A two-member observer team from the Election Commission that went to the spot to conduct an inquiry said all the 10 EVMs at Pati's the residence were unused ones and meant for demonstration purposes.

Kendrapara collector Nitin B Jawale said though there was no malafide intention involved it was not proper on the BDO's part to keep the EVMs at his residence instead of sending them to the strong room.

"We have sought an explanation from him and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken accordingly," Jawale said.

Polls were held simultaneously for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 assembly seats in Odisha in two phases on April 10 and April 17. Polling was held in Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday in the second and final phase.