Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri/Rayagada, Feb 12:

Fresh banners have emerged in Malkangiri district in which the CPI (Maoist) has threatened to chop off the hands of voters who defy a call to boycott panchayat elections in Odisha.

The Malkangiri Divisional Committee of CPI (Maoist) has put up banners at Dekrikota asking villagers to boycott panchayat polls. Should they defy the diktat, their hands would be chopped, it warned.

While the voting for first leg of the five-phase panchayat election is set to begin tomorrow, the latest posters and banners in the Maoist-affected district have cast a cloud over the turnout as the Reds have been threatening the villagers to abstain from exercising their franchise.

With the locals living in a state of fright, local police are examining the incident after seizing the banners.

On the other hand, similar posters were found in Rayagada districts calling for panchayat polls boycott.

Posters were found at Bhurasikhama village in Rayagada district this morning. Besides asking for poll boycott, the ultras have asked people not to handover land, water and forest to politicians.

This comes a day after the ultras had released an audio tape calling for poll boycott in three southern Odisha districts – Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Rayagada.

The tape was released by the secretary of Basdhara, Ghumusar and Nagabali Division of the banned outfit, Umakant.

He has alleged that BJD, BJP and Congress parties are doing politics only to fetch votes from people and are betraying them in the name of democracy.

Their (political parties) only motive is to serve the industrialists and capitalists, he said.

Also Read: Maoists call for bandh, poll boycott in 3 Odisha dists on Feb 13

Recently, State Election Commission (SEC) had identified 27, 422 booths as hypersensitive and sensitive booths. Out of the total, 8, 491 booths are hypersensitive and 18, 931 are sensitive booths. Kandhamal district has the maximum of 1,076 booths identified as hyper-sensitive.