GUWAHATI: The Election Commission on Friday suspended five polling personnel, including a presiding officer, and ordered repoll at a polling booth in Assam after a polling team, travelling with polled EVMs in a car registered in the name of a BJP MLA’s wife, was held hostage and allegedly attacked.
A sub-inspector of police tasked with escorting the polling party was also suspended for leaving them stranded and not ensuring their safe arrival at their destination. With the incident triggering a flutter, the EC explained it was raining heavily and the polling party of No 149 Indira MV School of Ratabari seat was returning with escorts when the vehicle broke down and got detached from the convoy.
Breaking : Situation tense after EVMs found in Patharkandi BJP candidate Krishnendu Paul’s car. pic.twitter.com/qeo7G434Eb— atanu bhuyan (@atanubhuyan) April 1, 2021
While an alternative vehicle was being arranged, the polling party boarded a ‘passing vehicle’ without checking its ownership. When the car slowed down in the traffic at Kanaishil in Karimganj around 10 pm, it was surrounded by about 50 people who started pelting stones.
EC issues factual report on incident involving EVM in Assam.— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2021
Polling party 149-Indira MV School of LAC 1 Ratabari (SC) met with incident. Party comprised a Presiding Officer & 3 polling personnel. They were accompanied by police personnel comprising a constable & a homeguard:EC pic.twitter.com/irm3DEr6KV
The mob abused the officials and did not allow the car to pass, the EC said. The mob said the vehicle belonged to sitting MLA of Patharkandi and BJP candidate Krishnendu Paul, and alleged the EVMs were being taken to be tampered with. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra lit into it, saying the EC needs to start acting decisively on these complaints.