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Probe in connection with breach of security on 'premises' of strong room under Nalbari election district

EC had on May 15 placed a circle officer from Nalbari district under suspension for alleged negligence while on poll duty

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 23.05.24, 09:41 AM
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Guwahati: A senior Assam government official on Wednesday launched a probe in connection with the alleged breach of security on the “premises” of the strong room under the Nalbari election district, which falls under Barpeta parliamentary constituency, on May 7.

The inquiry was launched following at least two complaints to the Election Commission (EC) by Luit Kumar Barman, a local businessman, and another by the Barpeta Congress candidate’s election agent Shaiz Uddin Ahmed on May 14, sources said.

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The EC had on May 15 placed a circle officer from Nalbari district under suspension for alleged negligence while on poll duty.

B. Kalyan Chakravarthy, principal secretary, home and political departments, started the inquiry around 6pm on Wednesday at the Nalbari Circuit House and it was continuing till the time of filing this report.

In his email complaint to the CEO on May 14, Barman had requested a repoll in the Nalbari district under a different DEO and SP.

He had made the demand because “the security of polled EVMs could not be ensured by District Election Officer cum District Magistrate, Nalbari, Smt Varnali Deka and the Superintendent of Police, Smt Supriya Das on the date of receipt of polled EVMs and materials i.e. on the night of 07.05.2024.”

Barman’s complaint also mentioned an FIR filed by the DEO, Nalbari whereby she claimed that someone tried to extort money from her “inside the receipt centre ... (same as strong room premises with single entry-exit where both strong room and EVM receiving counters were set up) in the Gurdon HS School”.

Shaiz Uddin Ahmed, in his complaint to the ECI on May 14, sought “necessary action with regard to security and safety of strong room established at Government Gurdon in Nalbari where EVMS are kept”.

His complaint said: “Sir, we came to know from various electronic and print media as well as social media that an unauthorised person entered into the above-mentioned strong room and demanded money from the District Returning Officer. But till date, the District Returning Officer cum District Commissioner, Nalbari has not taken any action against the said unauthorised person who illegally entered into the Strong Room campus by breaching the strong security cover.”

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