Bhubaneswar: Barring stray incidents of violence and attempted booth capturing in districts like Cuttack, Puri, Ganjam and Jajpur, the fifth and final phase of the ongoing Panchayat elections was held today peacefully.
Polling was held in 806 gram panchayats and 111 Zilla Parishad segments under 48 blocks in 24 districts. An estimated 31.84 lakh voters exercised their franchise in 11, 177 booths to choose their candidates.
All security arrangements were made for peaceful, free and fair poll today. Voting was recorded from 7 am to 12 noon.
The average polling percentage stood at 69.41 percent. While Nayagarh district with 85 percent recorded the highest polling percentage, Bargarh and Jagatsinghpur recorded 77 percent polling. Cuttack remained at the bottom with 62 percent.
While peaceful polling was witnesses in mao-infested district of Malkangiri. In Jajpur district, a large number of people tried to loot ballot box at a booth in Jaanar village in Gobardhanpur panchayat under Danagadi block. When the police used mild force to disperse them, they attacked policemen in which a sub Inspector of Tomka police station was injured, police said.
Later, more police force reached the spot and arrested five of them. Miscreants snatched ballot box from booth no-4 in Pankapal panchayat under the Danagadi block and dumped it in nearby pond. Apart from this miscreants also snatched ballot papers at two booths of the same panchayat, the sources said.
In Ganjam district, polling was disrupted in at least two booths in Dharakote block as some miscreants allegedly snatched away the ballot box and ballot papers. Loot of ballot box was also reported from Gop and Konark area in Puri district.
Apart from this people in Koraput, Rayagada and Sambalpur boycotted the polls.
The State Election Commission (SEC) has ordered re-polling in 60 booths today, while final voting results will be officially announced on 21 and 22 February.