Odisha election preparations marred by violence: Several injured

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen), May 24: In the run-up to the third-round elections in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies of Odisha scheduled for May 25, incidents of violence have marred the campaigning process. Reports indicate clashes between supporters of the BJP and BJD in Nayagarh, Cuttack, and Puri districts, resulting in injuries to multiple individuals, including a minor.

In Bhagawanpur, under Bhapur block in Khandapada, several BJP workers purportedly sustained injuries after an alleged attack by BJD workers while they were distributing cash in the area. According to a police complaint filed by BJP supporters, they were threatened and pursued by BJD workers wielding swords and pistols.

Another complaint lodged by Sabita Sahu alleges that BJD workers brandished weapons, including pistols and swords, when confronted by those expressing their intention not to vote for the BJD. The complaint names 11 individuals, including Pramod Sahu, the husband of the sarpanch, and Ramachandra Sahu.
In Athagarh, Cuttack district, a clash between two groups over the distribution of money and intoxicants in Harijan Sahi of Taradinka village left more than five individuals injured, including a minor, late on Thursday.

The confrontation reportedly ensued following a comment made about a political party, escalating into stone-pelting between the groups. The minor sustained critical head injuries and was initially treated at Athagarh sub-divisional hospital before being transferred to Shishu Bhawan in Cuttack.

Additionally, three individuals, including Mangalpur Panchayat Samiti member Gadadhara Parida, were allegedly injured in an attack by BJD workers at Subuddhipara under Sahajpur Panchayat in Puri. Sources suggest that the incident unfolded after stones were thrown at the house of Adityaprasad Pani in Suhagapur village late on Thursday night.

Despite a police delay in reaching the scene, BJP workers from neighboring Mangalpur reportedly rode to Sahajpur, only to face an alleged attack by BJD supporters en route.

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