No FIR filed after Chennai corporation employees found with EVMs
No FIR has been registered in connection against the four men who were caught carrying Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in Tamil Nadu's Velachery on Tuesday, IANS reported. Reportedly, the Greater Chennai Corporation has suspended three of its staffers in connection with the incident for violating Election Commission of India (ECI) rules. Here are more details.
Public caught staffers carrying EVMs on Tuesday
After polling for the state Assembly elections ended on Tuesday evening, the four men were reportedly carrying the EVMs, VVPATs, and a control unit on two-wheelers in an unauthorized manner. According to The Hindu, their vehicle skidded and fell on Taramani link road. When the public came to assist, they spotted the voting units and questioned the staffers, the report said.
3 Corporation staffers suspended on Wednesday
After polling officials and the Returning Officer of Booth 92-M, DAV School (Velachery) held an inquiry, three Corporation staffers were suspended on Wednesday. According to The New Indian Express, the staffers have been identified as assistant engineer Senthil Kumar, conservancy supervisor Velankanni, and conservancy worker Saravanan. Senthil was in charge of three booths in DAV School, sources told the publication.
Voting units caught were not used for polling: Officials
An investigation found that the voting units had not been used for polling. One of the VVPATs had failed after 15 votes were polled and was replaced, sources told TNIE. After polling, Senthil allegedly asked the two Corporation staff to bring the remaining two spare EVMs and the control unit to DAV School, the sources said. This is when the staffers were caught.
Only a procedural lapse: Velachery SHO
Velachery Station House Officer told IANS, "It is only a procedural lapse and action has to be taken by the EC officials." The police issued notices to the three suspended staffers and one other person to join the inquiry on April 12, The Hindu reported.
Congress, DMK allege EVM tampering; demand repoll
The Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had reacted strongly to the incident, alleging that the staffers were trying to tamper with the EVMs. Both parties demanded a repoll at Booth 92-M. A total of 220 votes were polled in the booth which had 540 votes, IANS reported. Speaking to the news agency, former Chennai Mayor M Subramanian also pressed for a repoll.
Tamil Nadu Assembly elections were held on Tuesday
Tamil Nadu Assembly elections were held in a single phase on April 6 across 88,936 polling stations. The term of the 234-seat state Legislative Assembly ends on May 24, 2021. The counting of votes will be held on May 2. The DMK has formed an alliance with Congress to unseat the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu.