Maharathy arrested for attacking EC officials, sent to Jharpada jail
Bhubaneswar: BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy was on Monday arrested and sent to Jharpada jail in connection with the attack on a poll flying squad in Pipili last night. Earlier in the day, he was questioned at the Pipili police station.
He was sent to Jharpada Special Jail here after the Bhubaneswar Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) turned down his bail petition this evening. Maharathy’s bail plea will be taken up for hearing next on April 24.
The BJD MLA, who fell ill while he was being produced in Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) in Puri earlier in the day, will receive treatment inside Jharpada jail, the court directed. “If required, then jail authorities may shift him to hospital for treatment,” the court said.
Soon after the arrest of Maharathy, Puri SP Uma Shankar Das said there was ample evidence against the BJD leader on his complicity in the incident. “Police had elicited vital information from one of the accused detained earlier in the day. On the basis of his statement, police are looking for another accused,” he added.
The SP said a case has been lodged against Maharathy under IPC sections 307, 341, 353, 332, 147, 148, 149, 171 (b), 186 and 123.
A team of Election Commission (EC) officials, including a magistrate, were allegedly attacked while conducting a raid in former minister Maharathy’s farmhouse in Pipili late on Sunday night.
Maharathy, who is a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate from Pipili Assembly constituency, and his supporters allegedly attacked the flying squad team led by executive magistrate Rabi Narayan Patra while the officials were conducting the raid on his farmhouse.
The injured, including the magistrate, have been admitted to Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar.
“After getting information about the distribution of money and liquor at Pradeep Maharathy’s farmhouse, I, along with the Static Surveillance Team (SST) team, had gone for investigation. As soon as the team reached there, Maharathy started hurling abuses and later attacked me and my team,” alleged Patra.
“On the basis of the statement by the injured flying squad team members, police registered a case. Statements of the victims have been recorded and the investigation is underway,” Puri Collector Jyotiprakash Das said on Monday.
In a Facebook post, Maharathy had denied his involvement in the incident.
The Pipili Assembly constituency, a segment under the Puri Lok Sabha seat, will go to polls in the third phase on April 23.
Meanwhile, violence has increased in the state during the ongoing elections. Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik and some of the party workers were assaulted in Ghasipura Assembly constituency on Sunday.
In two separate incidents, bombs were hurled at the vehicles of BJD and BJP MLA candidates Anant Narayan Jena and Jagannath Pradhan, respectively, on Sunday night. Both the candidates are contesting from Bhubaneswar Central seat.