Eight apprehended after fatal poll violence incident in Ganjam, Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen) May 16: The Khallikote police made eight arrests on Thursday in connection with alleged poll violence that resulted in the death of a 43-year-old BJP worker and injuries to seven others at Srikrushnasaranpur village in Odisha’s Ganjam district the previous night. This action followed Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal’s directive to the Ganjam Collector and SP to take immediate measures to quell violence and restore peace in the area.

Reportedly, the clash occurred while BJP workers were installing banners in the village.
Expressing condolences, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik denounced such acts of violence, stating, “Such incidents have no place in our democracy and society. I strongly condemn this incident. My deepest condolences to the family who have lost their loved one and praying for the early recovery of those who sustained injuries.” He assured that the police would take firm and exemplary action against the perpetrators.

In contrast, BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan accused the ruling party of resorting to violence out of fear of electoral defeat. “I strongly condemn the attack on BJP workers by BJD workers. I am saddened by the death of our party activist. Their sacrifices will not go in vain. People of Odisha will give a befitting reply through the ballot,” he tweeted, urging swift investigation and action by election officials and the police.

Meanwhile, protests erupted outside the Khallikote police station, prompting police to use batons to disperse the crowd demanding the arrest of all accused involved in the alleged murder of the BJP worker. Section 144 of the CrPC has been enforced around the police station, according to sources.

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