Khariar: A sarpanch candidate of Khariar block in Nuapada district was rescued in an unconscious state with his limbs tied early Saturday morning, just a day before the third phase of three-tier rural polls in Odisha.
The victim man has been identified as Chulamani Baitharu of Sunarisikuan village. He is contesting the elections for the post of sarpanch with ‘Open Book’ as his symbol.
Chulamani’s family spotted him in an unconscious state with his hands and legs tied, lying at a place about one kilometre away from his village. The exact reason behind the incident and person(s) involved in it has not been ascertained yet.
Chulamani was rescued from a pool of blood and admitted to Khariar sub-division hospital for treatment. His health condition is said to be critical.
“Chulamani had gone out for some election-related work Friday night. However, he did not return for quite a long time. We initiated a frantic search for him at all possible locations, but in vain. Later, he was spotted beneath a culvert on Sunarisikuan-Gandabahali road Saturday,” a family member said.
Four others are contesting against the victim. The incident is an apparent fall out of political motive, the family member alleged. Meanwhile, Khariar police have initiated a probe into the incident.
“A number of deep injury marks on his body indicate that the sarpanch candidate was severely beaten by some miscreants. He has been shifted to a government-run health facility in Bolangir district after his condition deteriorated,” an official in the local police station stated.
Earlier February 17, before the second phase of the election, the husband of a Samiti Member candidate of Sankulei gram panchayat was allegedly kidnapped in Dhenkanal.
However, he was rescued the next day in an unconscious state from under a bridge near Bajichowk under Town police limits.
His family had lodged a complaint with the local police station and alleged that somebody from the opposition party might have kidnapped him.