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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Odisha BJP candidate in Puri faces arrest for destroying EVMs

BJP candidate for Odisha’s Satyabadi assembly constituency of Puri, Om Prakash Mishra and is supporters allegedly destroyed EVMs and tore poll documents on Tuesday shortly before polling was to end.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 24, 2019 20:28 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Om Prakash Mishra  is the second BJP candidate to allegedly destroy electronic voting machines during the elections in Odisha.
Om Prakash Mishra is the second BJP candidate to allegedly destroy electronic voting machines during the elections in Odisha.(HT PHOTO)

Even as Biju Janata Dal(BJD) candidate and former minister Pradeep Maharathy cools his heel behind bars for attacking a flying squad of Election Commission, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in Puri district is facing arrest for allegedly attacking a polling official and damaging EVM during the third phase of polling on Tuesday.

Presiding Officer Shibram Mohapatra of Balabhadra Nodal Up School polling station in Satyabadi assembly constituency of Puri alleged that at around 5.30 pm on Tuesday, BJP candidate Om Prakash Mishra along with 20 bike-borne supporters barged into the booth.

“I had asked the voters who had queued up to remain within the booth premises. Within no time, 15 people led by Mishra barged into the booth and attacked me. They also destroyed the EVM machines and tore some important poll documents. One of them also tried to fire from his pistol, bit it slipped from his hand,” said Mohapatra.

Puri district returning officer Jyoti Prakash Das said an FIR has been lodged against Mishra and stringent action would be taken against him. Mishra owns a jewellery shop in Bhubaneswar. Police have seized a gun from the booth and detained two persons in this connection for questioning.

Earlier on April 19, BJP candidate for Sorada assembly seat, Nilamani Bisoi, was arrested by police for destroying an EVM machine at a booth in Renti village under Sorada police limits. The BJP is pulling out all the stops in a major bid to capture power for the first time in Odisha. Assembly and Lok Sabha elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha.

Also read: Odisha registers 61% voter turnout in third phase, polling official dies

Meanwhile, a designated court in Bhubaneswar in Wednesday deferred the hearing of the bail plea of arrested BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy in connection with the attack on Election Commission surveillance squad. Following his arrest, Maharathy was sent to Jharpada Special Jail in Bhubaneswar after a magistrate turned down his bail petition. The next date of hearing is scheduled on April 27.

First Published: Apr 24, 2019 20:24 IST

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