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Dramatic end to poll officials, local leader’s ‘kidnapping’ by Maoists

 The ‘kidnapping’ of five officials for Panchayat polls in the district and an former Sarpanch by Maoists today ended dramatically with the five returning safely to district headquarters.

Initial reports in the morning had said that the six were abducted by the red rebels as they had asked people in the district to stay away from the polls.

According to Malkangiri SDPO Rahul PR, two of the officials have since returned and three others are on their way.

The former sarpanch is also safe, he added.

PR said the five officials were ‘scared’ by the villagers to flee failing which the Maoists may abduct them.

The five said in the first three days no nominations were filed by any candidate for the poll also.

Notably, the five poll officials and an ex-sarpanch were reported ‘missing’ today in Malkangiri district, where Maoists had told people to abstain from taking part in the upcoming panchayat elections.

"We have information that five panchayat election officers and another person are missing in the remote area of Chitrakonda in Malkangiri district... not sure whether they have been abducted," DGP K B Singh had told reporters.

Asserting that efforts are on to get information about the six missing persons, he had said, "We are not able to establish contact with them at present. It is taking time as it is a remote area. We have sent our team to obtain information on the matter."

He had confirmed that that no demand or message have been received from the Maoists regarding the incident.

The five panchayat election officials had gone to the area on January 11 and were slated to return by January 18, he said, adding the last communication received from them was at 5.30 PM last evening.

The missing persons were election officers of Panasput, Jantri, Gajal Mamudi, Andrapalli and Jodamba panchayats and a former sarpanch of Jodamba, officials said.

Sub-Collector of Malkangiri Virendra Karkare said Chitrakonda Tehsildar Falguni Majhi has been asked to ascertain the facts about the incident.

The incident took place as the process of filing nomination papers is on for the three-tier panchayat elections scheduled next month.

Notably, Police had seized hand-written Maoist posters in Kudumulugumma about five days ago in which Malkangiri District Divisional Committee of Maoists asked people not to take part in the upcoming polls in any way.


Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.


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