BDO, journalists attacked during panchayat polls in Odisha’s Jajpur

Jajpur: Violence and untoward incidents marred third phase of panchayat polls in Odisha’s Jajpur as Korei BDO and three journalists were allegedly attacked by locals in the district, today.

According to reports, Korei BDO was assaulted near a polling booth at Soti village under Goleipur panchayat. The official had gone to the place after receiving information regarding irregularities in the polling process.

Following the incident, voting at the booth was stopped. Efforts were on by police and district administration to restore normalcy.

On the other hand, locals attacked three reporters of Kanak News, Argus News and Kalinga TV when the journalists were covering an incident of booth rigging attempt in Bachol panchayat of Binjharpur block.

The vehicles of the journalists were also damaged by the attackers.

Similarly, some miscreants allegedly looted ballot boxes from two booths in the panchayat. They reportedly threw the boxes into a pond.

Tension gripped the area after the incident as locals demanded immediate arrest of the wrongdoers.

Notably, polling for the third phase of Odisha Panchayat Elections commenced at 7 am today and will continue till 1 pm.

As many as 171 Zilla Parishad seats in 63 blocks of 29 districts in the state went to polls in this phase.

The third phase of the Panchayat election is being held at 18,495 booths in 1,382 Gram Panchayats under 63 blocks of 29 districts. Of the total booths, 2,773 have been identified as sensitive.

Over 56.53 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase. As many as 679 candidates are in the fray for the 171 Zilla Parishad seats.

The fourth phase and the fifth and the final phase of elections will be held on February 22 and 24, respectively. The counting of votes will be conducted from February 26 to 28.

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