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2-min read

Congress Candidate Demands Probe in Strong Room Theft in Maharashtra's Ramtek

Ramtek went to polls on April 11 and Gajbhiye is pitted against sitting MP Krupal Tumane. Gajbhiye said in case the stolen equipment is not found, a repoll should be ordered for the seat.

PTI

Updated:April 27, 2019, 10:35 AM IST
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Congress Candidate Demands Probe in Strong Room Theft in Maharashtra's Ramtek
Representative Image.

Nagpur: The Congress' Ramtek Lok Sabha candidate Kishore Gajbhiye Friday demanded the registering of a case and detailed probe in the theft of a digital video recorder (DVR) and two LCD television sets from a 'strong room' in Umred.

Ramtek went to polls on April 11 and Gajbhiye is pitted against sitting MP Krupal Tumane. Gajbhiye said in case the stolen equipment is not found, a repoll should be ordered for the seat.

"On April 12, one DVR and two LCD television sets were stolen from a temporary strong room in the government's ITI facility in Umred. EVMs were kept at this strong room till the evening of April 12 before they were taken to the main counting centre in Nagpur," Gajbhiye said, while addressing a press conference.

The DVR and LCDs were stolen in the intervening night of April 12 and 13, he said. "Besides, the assistant returning officer (ARO) did not send a report of the theft to the government and the collector. The ARO should have filed an FIR about the theft as it relates to the election process," he said.

The ARO took cognisance of the issue 8-10 days later when it appeared in local newspapers, Gajbhiye alleged.

"We have filed a complaint with the Chief Election officer (Maharashtra)and the police department. We demand that there should be no counting of votes in the Umred segment till we see the CCTV footage and the contents of the DVR. If is is not retrieved, we will demand a repoll," he said.

He said only the footage in the DVR will show whether any irregularities took place in the strong room.

In a press note, Ramtek Lok Sabha returning officer Shrikant Fadke said that after the polls on April 11, the EVMs that were used for voting were deposited at the Kalamana strong room in Nagpur by April 12 afternoon.

"Similarly, the strong room was sealed in the presence of the representatives of all political parties. Hence, there were no EVM and VVPAT in the Umred strong room," he said in the statement.

He added that the LCDs and DVR were stolen from a guard's cabin outside the strong room.

Fadke further informed that the strong room was under police protection and when the incident came to light, police was informed by poll authorities on April 15.

He said the incident would not affect the polls as all the EVMs and VVPAT slips are safe in the Kalamana strong room, he added.

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