12 held over post-poll violence in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A dozen people were arrested in Odisha's Kendrapada district in connection with Friday's post-poll violence, police said on Tuesday.

The arrested people were part of a mob, which allegedly attacked and manhandled a government officer in Kendrapada on April 18, a day after voting for Assembly and Lok Sabha was held in the area.

District Superintendent of Police Rabi Narayan Behera said those arrested mostly belong to opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. "Efforts are on to nab others," he told a news agency.

The mob allegedly assaulted Block Development Officer SK Pati after they found 28 pairs of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) kept in a government vehicle parked near his residence. The mob also ransacked his house.

Police have registered a criminal case against over 600 people in the incident.

The Kendrapada district witnessed post-poll clashes on Friday night over alleged election irregularities between BJD and Congress supporters in Aul area resulting in the death of a ruling party worker.

Police have so far arrested three people in this connection.

Subsequently, the administration clamped prohibitory orders Saturday banning meetings, rallies and protests.

Although the prohibitory orders were lifted from most places Monday, they will remain in force in Aul, Rajkanika and part of Mahakalpada police station area until Friday, Behera said.

BJP leader Samir Mohanty has accused the state government of targeting the people who exposed rigging and EVM-tampering bids.

"The district collector has recommended action against the block development officer for keeping the EVMs, but it is unfortunate that the authorities are keeping silent over the matter," he said.

Simultaneous elections for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in the state were held in two phases April 10 and April 17. Polling in Kendrapada district was held on April 17.

The footage of a local television channel which went viral on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, also showed some people allegedly indulging in vote rigging in Aul area of the district.

It showed a man walking into the electronic voting machine enclosure along with a woman voter and helping her to press a specific button, while the polling officials were mere spectators.

IANS
First Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 14:49
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