Chhattisgarh Congress moves HC over EVM strongroom ‘security breach’

The petition has claimed that officials of the administration allegedly entered strongrooms in Dhamtari where EVMs are stored. It also claimed that CCTVs were switched off for some time in a Durg strongroom.

The Chhattisgarh Congress Thursday moved the state High Court seeking directions to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to look into officials of the administration allegedly entering strongrooms in Dhamtari where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are stored. The petition also claims that CCTV cameras at a strongroom in Durg were switched off for a few hours.

Citing examples of reported violations of Model Code of Conduct in Madhya Pradesh as well, the petition filed by Chhattisgarh general secretary Girish Dewangan has demanded that 50 per cent of VVPATs be tallied, used and unused EVMs be segregated in strongrooms, counting of votes be held round-wise, and that there should be uninterrupted power to strongrooms for CCTVs and LED screens to function without interruption.

The petition will be heard on December 10, a day before counting of votes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has, meanwhile, alleged that these are only tactics to mask the fear of defeat by the Opposition parties.

On Wednesday, in a similar instance, a BSF sub-inspector was allegedly found using a laptop computer outside a strongroom housing EVMs in Bemetara district of Chhattisgarh, PTI reported.  Vikram Kumar Mehra, belonging to the 175th battalion of the Border Security Force, was removed from duty at the strongroom at Mandi after the Congress raised the issue of security of EVMs, officials said.

Congress leaders late Tuesday evening raised objection over the alleged use of laptop computer by the BSF man at the strongroom following which local officials swung into action, Bemetara Collector Mahadev Kawre told PTI.

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