Murderous attack on Odisha Min's brother in Bargarh; 4 critical

Naveen Patnaik

Naveen Patnaik

The ministers brother Subrat Singh and his associates were travelling in a auto when the miscreants intercepted their vehicle and attacked them around 1.30am in Bargarh district, Additional Superintendent of Police Yashobant Senapati said. "There is no place for violence in democracy". After attacking them miscreants fled from the crime spot.

Police arrived at the spot and rushed the injured to Vimsar in Burla. VIMSAR director Aswini Pujahari, however, confirmed that Subrat's injury was not caused by a bullet.

Police said the group came under attack by a gang of about 30 persons at Banabira. As per the Election Commission guidelines, all political leaders, functionaries and party workers who are not registered voters in the constituency left Bijepur ahead of the polling. "The people of Orissa are peace loving and I strongly condemn the cowardly act", Naveen told reporters in Bhubaneswar Friday.

While the BJD has fielded Mr. Sahu's widow Ritarani Sahu, who joined the regional party a month after the death of her husband, the Congress has fielded Pranaya Sahu, now vice-chairman of the Gaisilet block in the Assembly constituency, and the BJP has fielded former BJD legislator Ashok Kumar Panigrahi, who joined the party in October last.

Meanwhile, political blame game has started on the issue with BJD staging a demonstration in front of Chief Electoral Officer in protest of the attack on Minister's brother in bypoll-bound Bijepur.

"It is a conspiracy to stall the bypoll".

Bargarh district Collector Yamini Sarangi said as many as 155 polling booths out of 281 have been identified as sensitive voting booths and 20 booths among those will be covered with CCTV surveillance for the by-poll.

At a press meet, senior BJP leader and Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan alleged that CM Naveen Patnaik's private secretary VK Pandian has sent 100 government officials to Bijepur, to help the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the election, reported a private television channel.