UPDATE: The district magistrate of Jhansi, Shiv Sahay Awasthi, has responded to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Uttar Pradesh on the complaint of EVMs being found in the City Magistrate’s car. In the letter to the CEO, Awasthi has said that the EVMs found in the car were faulty and were being taken to the store room at the Bhojla Mandi site. The complainants were then called at the site and were shown the unused and faulty EVMs and VVPAT after which they left satisfied. The store room has now been sealed.
The Election Department has started investigating the seized machines and the opposition has alleged that this incident is linked to the many EVM scams being reported from the area.
Jhansi: Two vehicles loaded with EVM machines were seized in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh as the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections was underway on Monday.
According to the information received, the EVM machines were loaded in the City Magistrate’s car, while the VVPAT machines were kept in a private car. As the police arrived after receiving this information, the people transporting the EVM machines fled the scene. The Election Department has started investigating the seized machines and the opposition has alleged that this incident is linked to the many EVM scams being reported from the area.
In another UP constituency, glaring negligence was reported during the fourth phase of elections in the Hamirpur-Mahoba Tindwara Lok Sabha seat 47. The EVM machine suddenly disappeared after the voting process was completed last evening due to the negligence of the presiding booth officer. The machine disappeared from the strong room where it was kept for recalibration. The loss of the machine caused a lot of chaos and confusion and even after searching for the whole day, all the top officials, including the District Election Officer and Superintendent of Police were unsuccessful in locating the machine. At present, the police and administrative superintendents are busy looking for the EVM machine, while the other personnel involved in the polling, including the careless presiding officer, are in custody and investigation is underway.
The incident happened in the village of Nogaanv Fandna in the Panwadi police station area of Mahoba. After the completion of the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections, the EVM machines were kept in the strong room at a state Polytechnic college. When the machine was not found at its designated spot, its disappearance caused panic among all the polling officers including the district presiding officer.
Taking the matter seriously, all the officials including District Election Officer Sahdev, Superintendent of Police Swaminathan tried to find the access machine in the village but were unsuccessful. The Police and administrative officials are searching for the EVM machine with the help of the villagers who are camping in the village.
Meanwhile, the administrative authorities seem to be avoiding the entire incident. Nagaych, the first voting officer, Razia Begum, the second polling officer, Amarendra Kumar, the third polling officer and presiding officer Kamlesh Kumar are being questioned in police custody. The police are interrogating villagers to get to the bottom of this issue.
(Article translated from Hindi.)