Lok Sabha elections 2019: BJD candidate arrested for leading attack on EC team in Odisha
Pradeep Maharathy has been charged under several sections of Indian Penal Code including an attempt to murder, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, wrongful restraint and rioting and Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act.Updated: Apr 22, 2019 16:29 IST
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
The BJD’s candidate for the Pipili assembly constituency in Odisha’s Puri district, Pradeep Maharathy, was arrested on Monday, hours after he led an attack on a team of officials of the Election Commission at his farmhouse.
Puri’s superintendent of police Umashankar Dash said Pradeep Maharathy, who is a former state minister, was arrested after a lengthy interrogation.
Pradeep Maharathy has been charged under several sections of Indian Penal Code including an attempt to murder, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, wrongful restraint and rioting and Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act.
Dash said 15 more people were involved in the attack and would be arrested soon.
A flying squad and a static and video surveillance teams comprising 15 members led by executive magistrate Rabi Narayan Patra had raided Maharathy’s farmhouse in Pipili around 12.30am over information that a feast was being held and money and alcohol were being distributed to influence voters.
But as soon as the surveillance team reached the farmhouse in Hunkeipur village, they were attacked with Maharathy taking the lead. Patra and his team, who were bleeding profusely, fled the spot in one of their vehicles as Maharathy’s men chased them.
“We had to flee leaving one of our vehicles on the spot. Had we stayed any longer we would have been killed,” said Patra.
Videographers Purna Chandra Dash, Sushant Pradhan and two others from the EC team were also injured in the attack.
Voting in Pipili assembly constituency under the Puri Lok Sabha constituency is scheduled to be held on Tuesday along with 41 other seats. Six Lok Sabha seats will also poll in the state on the same day.
First Published: Apr 22, 2019 15:59 IST