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One dead in Odisha post-poll violence

IANS | Last Updated: Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 15:13

Bhubaneswar: Prohibitory orders were clamped on Saturday in Odisha`s Kendrapada district after a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supporter was killed and several injured as post-poll violence rocked the region, an official said.

"The orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been clamped across the district to maintain law and order," District Collector Nitin Bhanu Das Jawale told a news agency.

It prohibits the gathering of more than four people.

The order will remain in force for 24 hours (till Sunday morning) or until the situation normalises, he said.

District Superintendent of Police Rabi Narayan Behera said a clash broke out between the supporters of BJD and the Congress in Aul area of the district on Friday night.

A middle-aged BJD supporter succumbed to his injuries while four activists of the same party were hurt, he told a news agency.
Investigation was on to find out the exact cause of the clash, he said.

Accusing the ruling party of rigging and tampering the electronic voting machines (EVM), the opposition parties on Friday staged demonstrations and protests in many places of the district including in Kendrapada, the district headquarter town, about 100 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

A mob also 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 in Kendrapada.

The mob also ransacked his house. Police reached the site, rescued him, and shifted him to a local hospital. He suffered injuries on his head.

Behera said a case has been registered against the mob.

A district election official said the EVMs were unused ones and kept for use when any EVM turned dysfunctional. The officer allegedly went to his home for some refreshment while he was on his way to deposit it to the authorities.

"We did not find any malafide intention behind it," he said.

Simultaneous elections for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in Odisha were held in two phases April 10 and April 17. The polling was held in the district of Kendrapada on Thursday in the second and final phase.
The footage of a local television channel also showed how some people allegedly resorted to vote rigging in Aul area of the district.

It showed a man walking into the EVM enclosure along with a woman voter and helping her to press a specific button. The polling officials were seen watching it helplessly.

First Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 11:27

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