In a significant development, the tainted Athgarh police inspector Gyanaranjan Samal was withdrawn from his office in view of Thursday’s urban local body elections. Samal was asked to leave Athgarh by 5 pm on the day and report at district police headquarters in Cuttack with immediate effect.

He was asked not to return to Athgarh until further orders.

This order came on the day after the State Election Commissioner (SEC) asked the State Director General of Police (DGP) to remove the police inspector from his post for his alleged misconduct during the run-up to the Athgarh NAC polls.

“The Athgarh police inspector was withdrawn before 5 pm on Wednesday in view of the Thursday’s election and was asked to report at the district headquarters,” said the Cuttack (Rural) SP Gurudash Kundu adding that the nearby Khuntuni police station in-charge officer Nirodh Mohanty was given additional charge of Athgarh PS.

The Congress party had lodged a complaint before the SEC against Samal. The police officer allegedly asked a Congress sympathiser and son of one of his junior staff to canvas for the ruling party candidate in the ULB polls.Taking strong exceptions to the conduct of the police inspector, the district Congress president Prakash Behera along with his party functionaries met the State Election Commissioner at Bhubaneswar on the day and apprised the latter of the dubious role of the policeman.