Office of Independent candidate in Odisha set on fire

JAGATSINGHPUR: Close on the heels of the Sabhamula fire incident on Thursday night, miscreants set fire to the office of Independent candidate Sanjib Biswal in Dasbatia village, part of the Balikuda Erasama Assembly constituency on Friday.

According to Biswal’s supporter Pratap Swain, the office was set ablaze late at night after being closed. Biswal’s supporters managed to extinguish the fire, and Swain lodged an FIR at the Anantapur police outpost. However, no suspects have been identified or arrested yet.

Biswal, initially an aspirant for the BJD party ticket, is now contesting as an Independent against BJD MLA candidate Sarada Jena in the Balikuda-Erasama seat.

Former sarpanch of Borikina panchayat, Sadhu Charan Sahoo, expressed concerns and urged the administration to take measures to ensure a smooth and incident-free election.

Brahmananda Panda, officer-in-charge of the Anantapur police outpost, confirmed that a case has been registered in the incident. Investigation is on, but no arrests have been made so far, he informed.

In another incident, former district BJP unit president of Naugaon, Srikant Swain, reported that miscreants attacked vehicles used for announcing BJP candidate Amarendra Das’ campaign in the Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat at Dabar village, Naugaon block. The vehicles were ransacked, and the driver, Bapun Das, along with a sound system operator, was attacked last week.

On Thursday, the house of a Dalit family was allegedly torched over election rivalry in Sabhamula village on Thursday night.

Stones were also reportedly pelted at the family members of the victim after he refused to support the candidate of a particular party.

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