Violence Mars Odisha's Third Phase Polling; Voter Turnout at 60.07 Percent

BHUBANESHWAR: The third phase polling in Odisha was marred with violence being reported from a booth at Athagarh in Cuttack district on Saturday, even as the state recorded a voter turnout of60.07 by 6 pm.

As per reports, four persons sustained injuries in the clash between two groups.

The clash was reported from booth number 115 at Radagobindapur in Athagarh.

Surprisingly, it was reported from one of the model booths that was established by the administration to facilitate voters to exercise their franchise without any trouble.

As per initial reports, the clash erupted soon after BJD leader Ranendra Pratap Swain had gone to vote. Sources said, it was Swain’s own panchayat and the two groups were engaged in verbal duel first and later attacked each other with chairs and even exchanged blows. It is pertinent to mention here that BJD’s Ranendra Pratap had to be escorted by police after he exercised his franchise. Similar kind of violence is also being reported from other booths in Athagarh.

A polling agent reportedly died soon after falling sick during conduct of polling at booth number 136 in Hindol. The deceased has been identified as Sukadev Patnaik from Bahalunda area. As per reports, the agent fell unconscious at around 9:30 am and was immediately rushed to the hospital where the doctors declared him dead. It is suspected that Patnaik died due to sunstroke. However, only after conducting post mortem and other formalities, the exact cause of death can be ascertained, the authorities said.

An elderly woman voter died while she had come to exercise her franchise at a booth in Nayagarh. The deceased has been identified as Kumuduni Dalei (65) of Patharpunji village. As per sources, Dalei fell unconscious while she was standing in the queue.

In Brahmagiri in Puri district, tension prevailed at Booth 127 at Gadarondanga over EVM glitches. BJP candidate Upasna Mohapatra said, “The presiding officer is misbehaving with the voters and the BJD agent here is telling voters not to vote for me. He is also abusing and making derogatory comments against me. They are playing with democracy. The voting is being done in a biased manner and there are serious lapses in EVMs.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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