Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Feb 1:
Suspected Maoists late on Saturday night lynched a village head of Talanga village under Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh bordering Odisha’s Malkangiri district.
The village head (sarpanch) identified as Lakshma has been brutally hacked to death by slitting his throat with lethal weapons.
Lakshma was elected unopposed in the ongoing three-phase panchayat poll which began in January and will end in February.
Notably, outlawed CPI (Maoist) had called for boycotting the elections in the state and had issued diktats not to participate in the elections. Lakshma was also asked not to contest election.
It is suspected that the ultras might have killed the village head for defying the diktat.
As per reports, the polls will elect 402 zilla panchayat members, 2,973 janpad panchayat members, 10,955 sarpanch and 1,55,595 panch. The polling process started from December 31, 2014 and will conclude on February 5 this year.
As many as 63,684 wards of 55 development blocks went to polls in the first phase on January 24, while 37,112 wards of 38 development blocks had the elections on January 28. Besides, polling in 54,799 wards of 53 development blocks is underway today
The counting is being held on the same day of polling in all the phases.
Maoists went on a rampage on Wednesday during the first phase of panchayat polls and looted boxes from around 30 booths in Sukma, Dantewada and Kanker in Bastar, considered the hotbed of left wing extremism in the country.
Besides, rebels also fired at a polling party in Kanker district. However, no injury or casualty was reported in the incident.