THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Crime Branch has sought 15-days’ time from the date of vote counting to complete its probe into the postal ballot scam in the police. State Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena had set May 15 deadline for State Police Chief Loknath Behera to file a report on the scam.
Crime Branch SP (Thrissur) K S Sudarshan, who is leading the probe, on Wednesday filed an interim report to IG S Sreejith. The report said the exact number of postal votes polled can be gauged only after May 23 as the police personnel can submit their postal votes till 8 am that day.
The extent of postal vote manipulation can be ascertained only after the counting is finished. Hence 15 more days are required from May 23 to furnish the final report, the interim report stated.
It also said the statements of cops, who were deployed for election duty in northern states, need to be recorded and that demands more time. High-level sources told Express that the “crux of the interim report was that more time is required to finish the probe.”
The scientific test to check the authenticity of the voice clip circulated by Vaisakh, a commando attached to the India Reserve Battallion, is yet to be done, the report pointed out. Sources said the biggest hurdle being faced by the probe team is the lack of cooperation from the police personnel.
According to the Crime Branch officials, police personnel did not come forward to register their complaints owing to the arm-twisting tactics of the Left-leaning Police Association. The interim report was later handed over to Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena by State Police Chief Loknath Behera.
The postal ballot allegation had created a flutter in the state with the UDF leaders coming out in the open against the Police Chief.
Earlier, the State Police Chief had issued a circular directing the cops not to attempt to manipulate postal votes. However, making a scarecrow of his directive, the ballots were allegedly collected by some of the cops and used for casting votes for the LDF candidates.
Handed to CEO
The interim report was handed over to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena by State Police Chief Loknath Behera.