Odisha: BJP candidate missing after ‘assaulting’ poll officer

Sampad Patnaik
Om Prakash Mishra. (Facebook)

BJP candidate for the Satyabadi Assembly seat, Om Prakash Mishra, has gone missing, days after he allegedly damaged EVMs, beat up polling officials and pulled out a firearm during the polling for the third phase of elections on Tuesday. The Satyabadi Assembly segment is part of the Puri Lok Sabha seat.

Police on Thursday launched a search for Mishra. The BJD has slammed the BJP, asking whose suggestion it was to give Mishra a ticket to contest polls.

Sibaram Mohapatra, who was polling officer at the booth at Satyabadi, said, "Om Prakash Mishra asked for the presiding officer in our booth. When I introduced myself, he thrashed me, broke EVMs and tore up important documents. When I appealed to local residents for help, he pulled out a firearm. He escaped, but dropped the weapon…"

BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, "We got to see violence by BJP that was previously unseen in Odisha."

Puri SP Uma Sankar Dash said, "Two associates (of Mishra) have been arrested and the weapon has been recovered. The airport has been notified lest he tries to escape… If he is not found soon, we will declare him absconding."

He said Mishra has been booked under several charges, including attempt to murder.

The BJP has accused the police of registering false cases against Mishra.