Phulbani, Orissa: About 25% of the electorate in Orissa’s riot-hit Kandhamal district, including those from relief camps, had exercised their franchise amidst tight security till Thursday noon.
“Polling has been taking place in a peaceful atmosphere”, Kandhamal district magistrate Krishan Kumar said adding he was optimistic of trouble-free elections in the district.
The inmates from five different relief camps which housed the riot victims have been taken to different polling booths in special buses where they voted without any trouble. “Though there is fear in mind, we have voted without any problem”, said Surabhi Nayak, who cast her vote at Sulesup booth under Burbina gram panchayat in Tikabali block.
Similar was the experience of Mayadhar Nayak and Gandharba Digal of Tikabali area.
Besides, the inmates of relief camps at Raikia, Mandasar, Mandakia and K.Nuagaon also went to polling booths with police escort and exercised their franchise.
There were over 25,000 people in 26 relief camps in the district and outside after the violence started in August last year. At present, there were over 3500 people still living in the camps of whom 2,048 were voters.
While voter turnout gradually increased as the day progressed, police intensified patrolling. The security personnel on motor bikes were patrolling the areas, Kandhamal SP Pravin Kumar said adding there was no report of any untoward incident from any part of the district though maoists had issued threat asking people to boycott the polls.