Pre-Election Political Violence and Intolerance Takes a Leap in Odisha

Author : Odisha Today Bureau | Posted on: 2019-04-18

Since the 90s, many political workers have been killed before, after and during the elections in India. The history of attacks on members of legislative assembly (MLAs), sarpanch, panchs, political workers and many others who were directly or indirectly related to the politicians has been frequent during elections.


As 2019 election battle in Odisha gains momentum, several incidents of violence from different parts of the State have now emerged as a major concern. Moreover, the ruling-BJD and BJP are now at loggerheads with leaders of either party blaming each other for such unrest.


There has been a rise in the number of political attacks in the run up before the second phase polls in the State. Few days back a BJP leader was shot dead by two unidentified men on a scooter outside the party’s Khorda office, near Bhubaneswar.


Only yesterday a lady official on polling duty was alleged shot dead by Maoists near Barala village under Gochapada police limits in Odisha’s Kandhamal district.


On 12 April, a BJP candidate of Bhubaneswar was attacked who was a member of RTI activist in Kandhamal. The activist named Mohammad Jiauddin sustained head injuries after being attacked by miscreants recently. He alleged that some BJD workers targeted and attacked him bringing several irregularities done by ruling party LS candidate Achyuta Samanta to the fore.


Not only this, a body of a Congress worker was found dead from Kusumapani forest in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district yesterday who had gone missing after attending an election rally. 


Previously in another incident, BJP’s Bhubaneswar-Central candidate Jagannath Pradhan and Lok Sabha contestant Aparajita Sarangi together complained the Chief Electoral Officer alleging that BJD activists pelted stones during a rally on Friday night.


In another incident, pre-poll violence erupted in Bolangir with a BJD worker sustaining critical injuries after being allegedly attacked by some Congress activists. As per reports, some Congress workers allegedly barged into the ruling BJD’s office at Chandanbhati village under Sadar Police Station in the district late last night and attacked the BJD worker Prafulla Meher who sustained grevious injuries in the attack and was immediately admitted to the Bolangir District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).


These series of political attacks have since long been used as a pressure tactic. 




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