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Odisha CEO directs police to arrest two polling officials for 'dereliction of duty'

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NewsDrum Desk
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Bhubaneswar, May 13 (PTI) Odisha's Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal on Monday suspended three polling officials and directed the police to arrest two of them for "serious dereliction of duty".

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Speaking to reporters, Dhal said, "We have directed the Ganjam collector to suspend three presiding officers of three polling booths and arrest two of them for serious dereliction of duty." The presiding officer of polling booth number 193 in Gopalpur assembly constituency has been put under suspension while the presiding officers of booth numbers 27 and 163 in Chatrapur assembly segment in Ganjam district have been suspended and police were directed to arrest them, he said.

Earlier in the day, the CEO suspended one polling official in Narla assembly constituency in Kalahandi district and another in Chikiti assembly seat in Ganjam district.

So far, five polling officials have been suspended after they were engaged in senior misconduct during the election, officials said.

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The CEO and his team are continuously monitoring the election process through direct webcasting from the booths, they added.

Voting started at 7 am in 7,303 polling stations in Berhampur, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituencies along with 28 assembly segments under these parliamentary seats.

A total of 52.91 per cent of voters have exercised their franchise till 3 pm.

The highest voter turnout of 58 per cent was registered in tribal-dominated Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat, followed by Nabarangpur (55.69), Koraput (53.08) and Berhampur (44.65), Dhal added. PTI BBM BBM ACD

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