Kendrapara district authorities on Saturday imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the politically-sensitive coastal district of Odisha following post-poll violence, which resulted in one death. The district had gone to polls in the second and final phase of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state on Thursday.
The prohibitory order has been clamped till Monday. One villager was killed and 10 others, including a government official, were injured in a late-night clash between two groups in Aul area on Friday. Three of the injured have been shifted to a government-run hospital in Cuttack. Angry villagers have threatened to gherao the local police station if those responsible for the violence are not arrested within 24 hours.
Similarly, tension ran high at Marsaghai on Friday after 28 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were found in a government vehicle parked in front of local block development officer S K Pati’s official residence. Pati sustained serious injuries after locals manhandled him while also ransacking his residence. He and his family have been shifted to a safe place outside the district.
Kendrapara district officials have said the EVMs were meant for training purposes and were not used during polling. However, the Congress and the BJP, two principal Opposition parties in the state, have charged the ruling BJD of tampering the EVMs with the help of district officials.
They have said they would be drawing the attention of the Election Commission on the issue. The chief electoral officer here has sought a detailed report on the incident from the Kendrapara administration.