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Odisha: Hours before counting, Congress MLA candidate shot at by unknown assailants

Jena was pitted from Odisha's Aska constituency against BJD candidate Manjula Swain, wife of former MP from Aska, Ladu Kishor Swain and BJP's Debraj Mohanty.

Hours before the counting of Lok Sabha Assembly commenced, Congress candidate from Odisha’s Aska assembly seat was critically injured on Wednesday after four unidentified people shot at him.

Congress candidate Manoj Kumar Jena and his associate, Anil Kumar Swain were shot at Berhampur in Ganjam district. Jena received bullets in his neck and chest. The assailants also reportedly slashed his neck after shooting at him. He was rushed to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur and later shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. His condition is said to be critical.

The police have confirmed that Jena was on his bike and returning from Bhubneshwar along with his associate when they were fired upon from close range at Oxford School Square near Lanjipalli in Berhampur town.

The assailants fled after attacking the Congress candidate but while fleeing the assailant’s bike hit a minor boy who was also injured.

Additional Superintendent of Police (Berhampur) Pravat Routray said the exact cause of the firing was unknown. “We suspect it to be due to the previous enmity,” the ASP said.

Before anyone could realise the miscreants fled towards Andhra Pradesh, “At least two police teams have been engaged to search the miscreants,”, ASP furthered.

Jena was pitted from Odisha’s Aska constituency against BJD candidate Manjula Swain, wife of former MP from Aska, Ladu Kishor Swain and BJP’s Debraj Mohanty.

Ganjam is Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home district. Patnaik contested the Lok Sabha elections from Hinjli Assembly constituency in Ganjam and has earlier represented Aska Lok Sabha constituency.

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