Poll Officer Who ‘Checked’ Modi’s Chopper Suspended, Cong Hits Out
The EC officer had allegedly tried to inspect PM Narendra Modi’s chopper, causing concern to the SPG at Sambalpur.
The EC officer had allegedly tried to inspect PM Narendra Modi’s chopper, causing concern to the SPG at Sambalpur.(Photo: PTI)

Poll Officer Who ‘Checked’ Modi’s Chopper Suspended, Cong Hits Out

The Election Commission of India on Wednesday, 17 April, suspended an officer posted as general observer in Odisha for allegedly checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chopper in Sambalpur, in violation of the laid down norms.

Mohammed Mohsin has been suspended with immediate effect for acting contrary to the instructions of the Commission concerning SPG protectees and will be posted at Sambalpur till further orders, a poll panel letter dated 16 April said.

A 1996 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, Mohsin was working under the supervision of the poll panel in Odisha.

‘Rule Doesn’t Exempt PM’s Vehicle’: Oppn Slams EC

The Congress slammed the EC, pointing that the rule “does not” exempt the prime minister’s vehicle from being searched and that the officer was simply doing his job.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also took strong objection to the EC suspending the official and asked what message is being sent through the action.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too asked what the ‘Chowkidar’ was trying to hide.

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Officer Held Guilty for ‘Dereliction of Duty’

On the basis of a report from the district collector and the DIG of police, the EC has taken action against the general observer of Sambalpur which came a day after the prime minister's visit on Tuesday.

“... the Commission has considered the material available before it and prima facie finds it dereliction of duty,” the letter suspending Mohsin read.

“Checking of the prime minister's chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not in accordance with the EC guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking,” said a senior official without elaborating.

The prime minister was stated to have been held up at the place for around 15 minutes because of the sudden checking, the official said. PM Modi had visited Odisha on Tuesday and addressed two rallies in Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's helicopter was also checked by the personnel of the EC flying squad in Rourkela on Tuesday.

Similar checking was carried out for Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's chopper at Sambalpur on Tuesday by the flying squad, sources said.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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