62 persons arrested in Odisha for Panchayat poll violence

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The Odisha police have arrested 62 persons in connection with poll disruption incidents during the first two phases of Panchayat elections in the state, police said on Saturday.

The police have arrested 28 persons in Jajpur district while 6 people have been arrested in Dhenkanal, 5 in Jagatsinghpur and 23 accused persons arrested in Puri district, so far. The first two phases of Panchayat polls were held on February 16 and 18.

The State Election Commission (SEC) said it will conduct re-polling at 45 booths, where the election was disturbed during the first two phases of polling. The voting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on February 23.

Fresh polling will be carried out at 25 booths where voting could not be held during the first phase (February 16) and another 20 booths where voting was disturbed due to violence & other reasons during the second phase of polling (February 18), the Commission said.

Meanwhile, the police have made elaborate security measures for the third phase of election to be held on Sunday at 18,495 booths in 1,382 Gram Panchayats under 63 blocks of 29 districts.

The police said 240 platoons force, 1,625 mobile patrolling parties along with district police officers have been deployed for the poll. The election will be conducted with strict enforcement of State Election Commission guidelines and Covid protocols.

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