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Saturday,19-June-2021

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Assam EVM row: Presiding officer suspended; repoll ordered

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EVM-machines

The Election Commission on Friday ordered repoll at a polling station in Southern Assam after the electronic voting machine (EVM) was found in a BJP candidate wife’s vehicle on Thursday evening.

The EC said in a statement that the presiding officer and three other officials have been placed under suspension and a repoll has been ordered at the Indira M.V. School polling station under Ratabari Assembly constituency in the state.

“Although the seals of the EVM were found intact, it has nevertheless been decided to do a repoll at the Indira M.V. School polling station as added precaution,” the statement said.

The Commission also sought a report from the Special Observer about the incident.

The statement said that after the officials car carrying the polled EVM machine to Karimganj was broken down they boarded a passing private car which was subsequently surrounded by a mob of about 50 people that started pelting stones at them.

The mob at the Kanaishil (under Karimganj district) alleged that the EVM was being taken to be tampered with. The private car was owned by the wife of BJP candidate of the neighbouring Patharkandi constituency Krishnendu Paul.

The statement added that due to the heavy rains on Thursday night and the roads being muddy, the official car of the polling personnel broke down and then they boarded a private vehicle along with their polled EVM and other materials without checking the ownership of the vehicle.

Immediately after receiving information about the incident, the District Election Officer of Karimganj along with the district Superintendent of Police (SP) rushed to the spot and reached there at 10.20 p.m. on Thursday night.During the course of the stone pelting, Karimganj SP Mayank Kumar sustained minor injuries on his collarbone and blank firing had to be resorted to disperse the mob.

The first polling officer, who was found missing in the commotion, was rescued early on Friday morning from a nearby area.

About the incident Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in a tweet said : “Every time there is an election video of private vehicles caught transporting EVMs show up… Unsurprisingly they have the following things in common: 1. The vehicles usually belong to BJP candidates or their associates. ….”

Over 77 per cent of the 73,44,631 voters exercised their franchise in the second phase of polling in Assam on Thursday in the 39 constituencies. Of the three-phase elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly, the third and final phase of polling will be held in 40 seats on April 6.

Nearly 80 per cent of 81,09,815 voters cast their votes on March 27 in the first phase of polling in 47 constituencies. The results will be declared on May 2.

National News

By giving clean chit to Agra hospital, UP govt did mock drill of inquiry: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

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Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for giving a clean chit to an Agra hospital where 22 patients died after oxygen supply was allegedly cut during a drill.

She said that the government has closed all the doors of justice.

Priyanka, who is also the in-charge of UP Congress, tweeted: “What an irony. According to reports a hospital in Agra conducted mock drill by allegedly cutting the oxygen supply and the BJP government gave clean chit to the hospital doing mock drill of the inquiry. The paths of government and the hospital have been cleared. By not listening to the complaints of the patients families, the government has shut all hope of justice.”

She also attached a news report claiming that a clean chit was given to the Paeas Hospital, which was caught in a controversy after a video surfaced online.

In the video, a man was heard saying to conduct a mock drill on oxygen supply.

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Crime

Gurugram: FIR against ex-BJP MLA for forging court records

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FIR

Following a complaint by the District Town Planner (DTP), the Gurugram police on Friday registered FIRs against three persons, including a former Gurugram BJP MLA for allegedly forging court records and circulating them on social media, the police said on Saturday.

According to the police, on May 16, former BJP MLA Umesh Aggarwal’s associates had filed a plea alleging contempt of court against the officials of the DTP team for carrying out demolition drive in an illegal colony in Sector-77 Kherki Daula, on June 10.

The District Town Planner R.S. Batth in his police complaint alleged that former MLA, Umesh Aggarwal had circulated forged court summons on social media, claiming that a contempt of court proceedings had been initiated against the officials of the DTP department by a court.

Following the complaint, an FIR has been registered against three under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Sector-14 police station.

“Before carrying out the demolition drive, all legal formalities were taken but the trio continue to develop an illegal colony,” Bhatt told IANS.

“In connection with the matter an FIR has been registered. Further probe is underway,” said a police officer.

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National News

BJP demands attempt to murder case against Pinarayi Vijayan

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Joining issue in the ongoing war of words between chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and new Congress president K. Sudhakaran, on Saturday, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan demanded that an attempt to murder case against Vijayan be lodged.

On Saturday, at Sudhakaran’s press conference, his party colleague K. Gopi, who hails from Vijayan’s village in Kannur, recalled an old incident, that in 1977 when 26 beedi workers were terminated from a society, they led a protest.

“I was leading the protest and then Vijayan with a sword led a group of people and he brandished his sword and it hit my hand and the injury mark is still there,” said Gopi showing his hand and adding that despite his complaint to the local police then, there was no further action in the case.

Muraleedharan told the media in the state capital that if the Congress party is serious in the allegation, they should register a police complaint.

“There is no time limit to an attempt to murder case and hence, Sudhakaran should ask Gopi to go forward and register a fresh complaint,” said Muraleedharan.

He also pointed out that in the past two days both these leaders have been revisiting their college days at the Government Brennen College and have been saying about their deeds then and it shows that both of them were goons and criminals.

“My appeal to both of them is not to portray a great institution like Brennen College by distorting its greatness, and lowering it as a place of goons,” said Muraleedharan.

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