Rickshaw driver transporting voters to polling booth stabbed to death in Odisha - Hindustan Times
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Rickshaw driver transporting voters to polling booth stabbed to death in Odisha

ByDebabrata Mohanty
May 20, 2024 05:50 PM IST

The Odisha chief electoral officer said the murder is not over election and that the accused and the victim had fought over some other issue that turned violent

An auto-rickshaw driver transporting voters to a polling booth in Odisha’s Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency was stabbed to death by a man after an altercation between them on Monday, police said.

The victim was rushed to a local medical facility where he was declared dead. (Representative Image)
The victim was rushed to a local medical facility where he was declared dead. (Representative Image)

While polling was underway at a booth in the Government Primary School in Sarsara village of Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency, the auto driver Biswanath Mirdha of Sarsara village had a heated exchange with them during which a person named Manoj Mahananda stabbed him with a khukri, police added.

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Mirdha was rushed to a local medical facility where he was declared dead.

The voting in the village was disrupted temporarily due to the incident. The locals blamed the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for the murder; however, police refuted the claim.

“The murder is not related to any political violence. Both were drunk. They had an altercation which led to aggravated assault. As per the preliminary investigation, they had past enmity. We will nab the accused soon,” said Bargarh superintendent of police (SP) Prahalad Sahai Meena.

Chief electoral officer of Odisha, Nikunja Dhal said both Mirdha and the accused person were under influence of liquor. “The murder is not over election. They fought on some issue that turned violent. Mirdha was shifted to Bargarh community health centre (CHC), where he succumbed to injuries. However, the accused escaped from the scene. Police have constituted a special team to nab the accused. The CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) rushed to the spot. The polling is now normal in the booth,” Dhal said.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out between BJD and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers over the ruling BJD’s alleged rigging attempt at booth number 47 of Bhanjanagar Assembly constituency in Ganjam district.

BJD’s Rourkela Assembly constituency candidate Sarada Prasad Nayak along with his supporters faced resistance while seeking votes inside a booth. Police escorted the MLA out to avert any untoward incident.

In Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency, a woman presiding officer fainted after an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) malfunctioned leading to delay in voting. The woman officer was quickly admitted to the nearest hospital.

By 3pm, 48.95 % of the 79 lakh voters exercised their franchise braving extreme heat in five Lok Sabha and 35 assembly constituencies that went to polls in the fifth phase in Odisha on Monday. Bargarh recorded the maximum percentage of 53.88 % while Aska recorded the lowest of 46.23%.

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