THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Crime Branch probing the postal ballot scam has requested the Armed Police Battallion to call back four cops, whose role is being investigated in connection with the scam, from Himachal Pradesh where they are currently posted on election duty.
The four cops, including Manikuttan, who had allegedly collected the ballots from other policemen, were to continue in Himachal Pradesh till Sunday. Himachal Pradesh, along with seven other states, will go to polls on Sunday.
The cops on duty were to return from Himachal Pradesh from Monday onwards in different batches. However, the four policemen were told to return as soon as possible after the probe team convinced the Armed Battallion higher-ups the need to summon them at the earliest.
The four cops, on their arrival, will be questioned by the Crime Branch team. Their statements will be recorded and further action will be taken if there is evidence against them. Armed Battallion DIG P Prakash said the cops have been asked to return on the basis of a request from the Crime Branch. “They have been told to return as soon as possible. The rest of the team members will start from there after May 19,” he said.
The CB probe was ordered by State Police Chief Loknath Behera after an intelligence report submitted by ADGP T K Vinod Kumar found that the allegation of postal ballot manipulation was indeed true.
Meanwhile, the police chief has filed an interim report prepared by DySP K S Sudarshan requesting more time to complete the probe as many of the police personnel were away on election duty. It was also pointed out the cops can poll their postal votes till 8 am on May 23 and only after which the exact number of postal ballots could be known.