Lapse in EVM management: 5 poll officials suspended
HAFLONG, April 5: Five polling officials were suspended by the Dima Hasao deputy commissioner cum district election officer (DEO) Paul Barua for allegedly allowing 171 votes in an auxiliary polling station against a total electorate of 90 in the polling booths under the Haflong assembly constituency during the second phase of polling on April 1.
The suspended officers are: sector officer Seikhosiem Langhum (district fishery development officer), presiding officer Prahlad Ch Roy (headmaster of an ME School), polling officers Parameswar Charangsa (assistant teacher), Swaraj Kanti Das (assistant teacher) and Lalzamlo Thiek (who is attached to the soil conservation divisional office, Maibang).
The returning officer has ordered repolling in the auxiliary polling station to be conducted on April 20.
“In accordance with the Section 13CC of the Representation of People Act, 1950 and read with 28A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, the following sector officer and polling officers of polling station -107(A) Khotlir LP School, Dima Hasao in connection with the general assembly election pertaining to 16-Haflong (ST) constituency are placed under suspension for dereliction of duty, while on poll duty on April 1 as sector officer/ presiding officer/ polling officers respectively at 107(A) Khotlir LP School Polling Station,” an official order here said on April 2.
An official statement of the chief electoral officer (CEO) in Guwahati said, “The auxiliary polling station No. 107-A Khothlir LP School under Haflong constituency has been set up for the first time for the ongoing elections. As per the valid electoral roll, there are only 90 electors against this polling station.”
It is noted that the main polling station No. 107 – Mualdam LP Polling Station has 616 electors. Total 181 votes were cast at No. 107-A during the second phase of voting on April 1.
“During the scrutiny of the presiding officer diary and other documents, it was found out that the presiding officer and the polling officers of 107-A Khothlir LP School have allowed 181 persons to cast their votes against the total 90 voters in the polling booth,” the statement said.
“The presiding and first polling officer in their statements have admitted that they allowed the voters registered against the main polling station, to cast their votes in the auxiliary polling station,” the statement said.
“Taking note of this lapse, the district election officer (DEO) has suspended the sector officer, presiding officer and three other polling officers, booth level officer of 107-A Khothlir LP School Polling Station, for dereliction of duty,” it added.