While the Election Commission (EC) is likely to announce re-polling in two booths of the Munger Lok Sabha constituency, suspension orders have been issued against 10 polling officials, including static magistrate and micro observer, for “abetting booth capturing” and conniving to further the prospects of certain candidates during the polling held on April 29.“They have been found aiding or conniving in such activities resulting in the furtherance of the prospects of the election of a particular candidate and which is defined as booth capturing under Section 135A of the Representation of People Act, 1951,” reads the order from the district magistrate who is also the district electoral officer.
These officials have been placed on immediate suspension under Section 13 CC of the RP Act, 1950, and Section 28 A of the RP Act, for also being involved in abetting booth capturing and promoting corrupt practices in election.
A few pictures of a man forcing a woman voter to press a specific party’s button on the EVM had gone viral.
As per guidelines laid down by the EC, poll officials are supposed to bring instances of violations immediately to the notice of the general observers.
A previous report to the EC had detailed violations in booth number 339 and 340 of the Munger constituency, ranging from “intimidating” voters to cast votes in favour of a particular candidate to polling agents casting votes of voters “multiple times”.
Both the polling stations fall under Halsi police station area of Lakhisarai district. The matter came to light when a journalist from a TV channel and his cameraman were thrashed while they were filming a booth capturing bid, allegedly by the ruling party workers, at Ghongsa polling station.
H R Srinivasan, Chief electoral officer (CEO), Bihar, has asked the DM and SP of Lakhisarai to lodge an FIR against the people involved in the alleged booth capturing bid at Ghongsa and subsequent attack on the journalists. He has also sought from the DM a detailed report about the woman who was forced to cast her vote to a particular candidate. All polling officials have been directed not to carry cellphones inside the booth.
Lakhisarai SP Kartikey K Sharma said an FIR had also
been lodged against unknown people in connection with the alleged poll rigging at Olipur polling booth falling under Piprahi police station area under Munger Lok Sabha seat.
Lakhisarai DM S K Choudhary said out of 10 poll officials, five were employees of the Sheikhpura district administration while four belonged from Lakhisarai.