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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

    EVM in Assam BJP Candidate’s Car: ECI Orders Repoll; Suspends 4 Officials

    The presiding officer was issued a show-cause notice for violating transport protocol

    Guwahati: In a major development to the Barak Valley EVM controversy, the Election Commission of India (ECI) orders suspension of 4 poll officials in connection with the controversy where EVM was allegedly found inside a car owned by a BJP candidate from Patharkandi LAC Krishnendu Paul’s wife Madhumita Paul.

    The ECI has also decided to conduct a re-poll at No. 149 Indira MV School of Ratabari (SC) LAC 1.

    A report has also been sought in this regard from the Special Observer.

    As per a press statement by the ECI, soon after the second phase of polling at Ratabari(SC) LAC in Karimganj district, the polling party of No 149- Indira MV School met with an unfortunate incident on April 1.

    “The polling party comprised of a presiding officer and three polling personnel were accompanied by the police personnel comprising of a constable and a homeguard were returning in a convoy escorted by armed escort led by police sector Officer Luhit Gohain got stuck into traffic congestion at National Highway 8 amid the inclement weather conditions,” the press statement reads.

    ECI also stated that as the party approached Nilam Bazaar, the vehicle which had been allotted by the transport cell of election branch, DC office to the party carrying the polling party broke down at around 9 pm. Due to the bad weather condition and traffic congestion, the party’s vehicle got detached from its convoy.  The party accordingly informed the matter to sector officer Ajoy Sutradhar about the matter.

    “While the sector officer was arranging for an alternate vehicle, the polling party arranged a vehicle of its own in order to reach the Material Receipt Centre faster as they were in the custody of polled EVMs. After several minutes, the polling party hailed a passing vehicle and boarded the vehicle along with their EVMs and other things without checking the ownership of the vehicle. The polling party then headed towards Karimganj, after reaching Kanaishil area they were surrounded by a mob of about 50 people which started pelting stones at them. The mob also abused them and gheraoed the vehicle,” stated ECI in its report.

    Meanwhile, DEO Karimganj and SP Karimganj rushed to the spot to bring the down the situation under control. However, the situation got escalated further, SP Karimganj also received minor injuries on his collarbone, thus, resorting to blank firing to disperse the mob.

    In the midst of the commotion, the first polling officer was found missing until Friday morning. On the other hand, the EVMs and the other polling party were safely escorted from the spot.

    Following the incident, the presiding officer was issued a show-cause notice for violating transport protocol.

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