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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Polling officer shot dead by Maoists in Odisha’s Kandhamal

Odisha DGP in-charge BK Sharma said polling supervisor Sanjukta Digal was shot dead near Barala village under Gochapada police limits when she and 4 others got down from their vehicle suspecting landmines were planted on the road ahead.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 17, 2019 19:26 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Last week, 36 polling officials of Maoist-affected Malkangiri district had to take a detour and walk 15 km through a mountain and forest fearing ambush by Maoists after polls got over in the first phase.
Last week, 36 polling officials of Maoist-affected Malkangiri district had to take a detour and walk 15 km through a mountain and forest fearing ambush by Maoists after polls got over in the first phase.(FILE PHOTO)
         

Hours before Odisha heads into the second phase of polls in 5 Lok Sabha and 35 assembly constituencies, suspected Maoists triggered a landmine blast and gunned down a woman polling supervisor in the Maoist-violence affected Kandhamal district.

Odisha DGP in-charge BK Sharma said polling supervisor Sanjukta Digal was shot dead near Barala village under Gochapada police limits when she and four others got off from their vehicle suspecting landmines were planted on the road ahead. According to officials, Maoists opened indiscriminate fire at the polling officials.

Digal, who worked as a Gram Rojgar Sevak (GRS), was shot in the head and died instantly. The rest of the polling officials managed to flee and rushed back to the base camp.

The local GRS Sangh sat on dharna demanding an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50 lakh and job for the next of Digal’s kin.

Officials said security had been tightened in 50 extra-sensitive and 207 sensitive booths of the 659 booths in the district. At least 60 platoons of CRPF, BSF and COBRA and state police have been deployed in the distric

In a separate incident, a group of Maoists in Kandhamal reportedly torched a vehicle carrying election officials today. The poll officials were heading towards a booth in Mungunipadar village under Phiringia police station limits in Kandhamal this morning when Maoists threatened them and forced them to get down from their vehicle. The rebels set the vehicle on fire after the officials vacated it. All poll officials are reportedly safe.

Last week, 36 polling officials of Maoist-affected Malkangiri district had to take a detour and walk 15 km through a mountain and forest fearing ambush by Maoists after polls got over in the first phase. In at least 15 booths of Malkangiri, no polling was recorded as people stayed away from polling booths afraid of Maoist violence.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 18:22 IST

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