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On poll eve, BJD MLA candidate Pradeep Maharathy held for assaulting EC officials

Bhubaneswar: On the eve of the 3rd section of elections, Puri Police arrested BJD’s candidate from the Pipili assembly constituency and incumbent MLA Pradeep Maharathy on Monday for allegedly assaulting some Election Commission officials for raiding his farmhouse overdue on Sunday night.
Though Maharathy implemented for bail citing sickness on the further district and periods court here, the pass judgement on sent him to judicial custody at Jharpada particular jail and posted the hearing of his bail plea to Wednesday. The court said Maharathy may well be treated within the jail health center or referred to a health center outdoor if the jail authorities felt the desire. He will be unable to vote on Tuesday.

The politically sensitive Pipili assembly section below the Puri Lok Sabha seat will go to the polls on Tuesday. The arrest of Maharathy — a six-time MLA and former minister who won't be able to cast his vote on Tuesday — led to embarrassment to BJD because it came minutes after chief minister Naveen Patnaik introduced a scathing assault towards BJP for allegedly resorting to hooliganism all over the polls. Naveen took a dig at BJP in a public assembly in Niali on the subject of Sunday night’s assault on BJD’s Bhubaneswar-Central MLA candidate and former city mayor Ananta Narayan Jena here by suspected saffron party employees.

Puri Police’s crackdown on the BJD heavyweight came after an allegation made by Rabi Narayan Patra, the ballot executive magistrate, that the MLA and his supporters had brutally assaulted him. “Our flying squad and static surveillance staff, comprising 10 executive team of workers together with an assistant sub-inspector, had long past to Maharathy’s farmhouse in Pipili on Sunday night to verify fees of distribution of money and liquor. The candidate and his supporters obstructed us from discharging our duty. They brutally attacked us and broke our video camera. Along with my staff members, I suffered accidents,” Patra informed TOI.

Patra is present process treatment at Capital Hospital here and has accidents on his waist, leg and chest. The different staff members were positive, police sources said.

Sources said the Election Commission took robust exception to the assault on the polling magistrate, particularly towards the backdrop of the homicide of a woman polling group of workers in Kandhamal a day ahead of the second one section of polls on April 18, and recommended police to do so. Police slapped a lot of stringent sections, together with attempt to homicide, towards Maharathy. “We found prima facie evidence towards him and arrested him. Others involved within the case will likely be arrested as smartly. Adequate forces have been mobilised to verify peaceful polls on Tuesday,” said SP (Puri) Uma Shankar Dash.

Before his arrest, Maharathy released a clip on social media denying involvement within the assault. “I regret whatever happened that night. Neither I nor our party (BJD) was involved within the incident,” he said. After his arrest, he added, “I will be able to tell the court whatever I have to mention.”

Maharathy has had repeated brushes with crime up to now. According to the affidavit he submitted all over the filing of nomination papers, he's pending trial in court in five felony circumstances, most commonly related to rioting, inflicting harm, mischief and hurling abuses. He was forced to resign from the ministry four months ago following his controversial remarks in favour of 2 brothers acquitted by a court in reference to the 2011-12 ‘rape and homicide’ of a 19-year-old girl in Pipili. The MLA had hailed the acquittal.

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