The fifth and final phase of panchayat elections concluded with violent incidents being reported from different districts on Sunday.
As many as 806 panchayats in 48 blocks in 24 districts went to the polls. Fate of contestants for ward membership in more than 11,000 wards in villages was sealed. According to reports, nearly 70 per cent polling was recorded in different districts.
Nayagarh district saw highest voter turnout of more than 80 per cent, while healthy participation in election was witnessed across all districts. With this, panchayat elections, which were scheduled between February 1 and 19 in five phases concluded. State Election Commissioner Ajit Tripathy said repolling was ordered in 56 booths following disturbances. The last phase of panchayat elections saw large-scale violence. For residents of Kangarapalli village in Bargarh district, the Saturday night would remain unforgettable. Miscreants armed with country guns, bombs, sharpened weapons, and sticks attacked villagers. Women locked themselves from inside rooms. Residents of Kangarapalli were not in a frame of mind to participate in the poll process. However, Bargarh district police carried out a march past to restore normalcy.
After much persuasion, villagers agreed to cast their vote. At least 50 persons were taken into custody in connection with the violence.
A sub-inspector of police was injured when two rival groups confronted at Gobardhanpur in Jajpur's Danagadi block.
In Dimiri panchayat of Cuttack's Kantapada block, miscreants snatched away vote boxes and threw them in ponds.
The disturbances were reported in ninth and tenth wards of the panchayat. Police rushed to the panchayat to control situation. Similarly, six persons were admitted to hospital after group clash in Birutanga panchayat of Puri's Gop block.