Odisha: Auto-rickshaw driver’s murder takes political colour

Bargarh: Political slugfest intensified today over the alleged murder of an auto-rickshaw driver a few meters away from a booth during the second phase of polling yesterday at Sarsara village under Sadar police limits in Bargarh district.

“The victim man was an active worker of BJP and the accused persons are from ruling BJD,” alleged BJP-fielded candidate from Bargarh parliament segment Pradeep Purohit.

Reacting to this, BJD district unit working president Japan Mohapatra said, “BJP is scared of losing the ongoing elections. Hence, the party leadership is bringing baseless allegations.”

Worth mentioning, police have detained ten suspected persons in this connection and they are being interrogated by the probe team.

The Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern Division)-Sambalpur Srikant Prusty conducted a close-door probe today into the alleged murder. Raids are being carried out to nab the accused.

Meanwhile, the victim auto-rickshaw driver’s family demanded stringent punishment for the accused. However, the key accused identified as Ashok Mahananda has not been arrested yet.

Tension flared up in Sarsara village yesterday after the auto-rickshaw driver carrying some voters to the nearby polling booth was allegedly killed by a group of people. The deceased man was identified as Biswanath Mirdha, who belonged to the same village.

Allegedly, an accused man named Manoj Mahananda stabbed Biswanath to death following a heated argument.

Polling in the village was disrupted for quite some time following the incident. Locals blamed a particular political party for the brutal killing of Biswanath, but police refuted the charge.

“The murder is not related to any political violence. Both were drunk. They had an altercation which led to aggravated assault. As per a preliminary investigation, they had past enmity. We will nab the accused soon,” Bargarh SP Prahalad Sahai Meena said mediapersons.

This issue is not related to pre-poll violence, clarified the Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal.

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