SRINAGAR: A letter by a poll officer in J&K’s Leh to the army following allegations of ‘postal vote fixing’ prompted it to order a probe led by an officer in the rank of Major General.
“It has been alleged that there are malpractices on part of various Commanding Officers of the Indian Army in the electronic postal ballot system. It is alleged that the Commanding Officers are telephonically asking soldiers for their voting preference, rather than supplying to them the ballot paper for casting their votes,” Anvy Lavasa, the district election officer in Leh, said in the letter.
If true, the officers could attract strict legal action as the practice negates the secrecy factor of voting, she warned.
Two Independent candidates, Sajjad Hussain and Asgar Ali Karbalai, had filed the complaints based on what they learnt from some soldiers of Ladakh Scouts.
Army’s public relations officer at Srinagar, Lt Col Rajesh Kalia said: “Preliminary investigations indicate that the complaints are unfounded and appear to have been made to tarnish the image of the army.” However, an in-depth investigation is on to ascertain the details, he said, adding: “The Army remains apolitical.”