The Maoists have asked people in Malkangiri district to abstain from panchayat elections.
Malkangiri (Odisha): Suspected Maoists abducted a villager and five government officials engaged in the panchayat election process in five gram panchayats from Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Friday morning. The abducted officials were identified as Purusottam Behera, Hrusikesh Nayak, Prabin Soren, Lingaraj Majhi, Kaminikanta Singh and Manoranjan Sisa.
Manoranjan Sisa is the son of the head of a village, Jodamba. Reports said the abducted officials were in-charge of Andarapali, Gajalmadi, Panasput, Jodamba gram panchayats in the Chitrakonda cut-off area. The police sees the abduction of the officials and the villager as an attempt to sabotage the panchayat elections in Maoist-hit district.
The five-phase panchayat elections in Odisha will begin from February 13 and conclude on February 21. During the 2014 Assembly elections, the rebels in Malkangiri district had killed Samrudha Odisha candidate head Somnath Madhi. It may be mentioned that the Maoists have asked people in Malkangiri district to abstain from panchayat elections. They have allegedly warned that those going to cast votes will face dismembering of their thump finger.