Pre-poll violence in Pipili assembly segment, 3 BJP workers injured

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Puri, Apr 11 (PTI) At least three BJP workers were injured in a clash allegedly with rival BJD activists at Delang in the by-poll bound Pipili assembly segment in Odisha's Puri district on Sunday, police said.

The incident took place during election campaigning at Brahmanabada village under Delanga police station. The injured three persons were initially admitted at the Delang Community Health Centre. Two of them were later shifted to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, they said.

Alleging that the ruling party goons were being shielded by the police, hundreds of saffron workers sat on a dharna near Delang police station leading to tension in the area. They also blockaded the road connecting Pattnayakia Chhak and Khura.

'The police are not taking action against the BJD goons who have set a reign of terror in Pipili-Delang area,' BJP state vice-president Bhrugu Baxipatra said.

Later a delegation of BJP MLAs comprising Mukesh Mahalinga, Nauri Nayak, Nityananda Gond, Kusum Tete met Chief Electoral Officer to complain about the alleged attack on BJP Mahila Morcha State Secretary Rashmi Rekha Das by some BJD supporters during campaigning in Pipili.

The BJP leaders also claimed that a group of BJP workers were also allegedly thrashed by rival BJD workers during campaigning at Raigurupur village in Pipili.

BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty rejected the BJP allegation and claimed that the saffron party workers are making false allegations against the ruling party.

He also said that the BJP has the habit of making such allegations and the saffron party workers are creating violence in Pipili area as they had done in Bijepur by-polls in Bargarh district.

The by-election to the Pipili seat was necessitated following the death of sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy.

The BJD has fielded Maharathy's son Rudrapratap in Pipili, the BJP nominee is Ashrit Pattnayk. The Congress has fielded Ajit Mangaraj as its candidate.

The polling in the Pilipi segment is scheduled to take place on April 17 for which three companies of central armed police force will be deployed, said ADGP (Law and Order) Y K Jethwa. PTI COR AAM RG RG