Tamil Nadu

Stalin writes to EC, alleges lack of protocol in strong room campuses

DMK president M.K. Stalin on Friday wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner and Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer alleging lack of protocol in many strong room campuses situated across the State where polled EVMs are stored, despite the instructions given by the Election Commission.

In his letter, he pointed out the various incidents of alleged lapses across Tamil Nadu.

On April 14, in Sri Ram Engineering College, Perumalpattu at Tiruvallur, where polled EVMs of 10 Assembly Constituencies are kept, similar types of covered vehicles were brought inside the campus during midnight hours in a suspicious manner, according to the letter. “Our party candidate objected it, but the officials claimed that the vehicles were mobile toilets for women police,” Mr. Stalin said.

Similarly on April 15, same model covered vehicle were found stationed within 100 meters from the strong room, within the premises of Loyola College at Chennai, where polled EVMs of many Assembly Constituencies including Kolathur Assembly Constituency, have been stored.

“Immediately, our party candidates and office bearers went there and they were assured that the vehicle would be removed immediately. Here also, the police claimed that the vehicle was a mobile toilet for women police. When enquired, the women police in the duty there said that they did not use the said mobile toilet. In Loyola College premises, nearby this vehicle and the strong room, many numbers of wifi connections are found in active mode,” Mr. Stalin noted.

These incidents have created high suspicion over the security / protocol provided in the strong room premises and thereby the safety of the polled EVMs is in question, he said.

Mr. Stalin alleged that the Returning Officers and District Electoral Officers who are duty bound to supervise the strong room campus have deliberately failed to discharge their duty, by allowing the above said vehicles, when it is specifically prohibited by the Election Commission.

He urged the Election Commission to ensure complete safety and security of all EVMs (CUs, Bus and VVPATs) of all 234 assembly constituencies both manually and electronically without any damage, hacking or tampering in any manner and not to allow any unauthorized person into the entire vicinity of strong room campuses.

Mr. Stalin also called for blocking and deactivating of all wifi connections in and around the strong room campuses and share the list of permitted persons in the strong room premises to the candidates.

He also called for initiation of necessary action against the police officers incharge of the strong rooms in which the alleged incidents took place as well as against the District Election Officer concerned.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 4:13:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-writes-to-ec-alleges-lack-of-protocol-in-strong-room-campuses/article34334093.ece

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