The Election Commission of India (ECI) has suspended with immediate effect, the general observer of Sambalpur parliamentary constituency in Odisha, for acting contrary to the instructions of the poll regulator with respect to Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees. The poll official identified as Mohammed Mohsin, a Karnataka cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) will be posted at Sambalpur in Odisha till further orders, the EC said.
In its order dated April 16, the EC said it had prima facie found the official, Mohammed Mohsin had "not acted in conformity with the ECI's instructions... concerning SPG protectees". "Whereas this has also been confirmed in the written report dated 16th April, 2019 by the District Election Officer, Sambalpur and the DIG, Sambalpur, the Commission prima-facie finds the action of Sh Mohammed Mohsin contrary to the instructions of the Commission concerning SPG protectees," the ECI letter stated.
"...taking all these under consideration, Commission places Sh Mohammed Mohsin under suspension with immediate effect and until further orders. The headquarters of Sh Mohammed Mohsin shall be Sambalpur (Odisha) till further orders," the letter added. Sambalpur votes on April 23 in the third phase on the seven phase general election.
Flying squads consisting ECI officials have been conducting surprise checks on vehicles of prominent leaders for the past few days in different places ahead of their poll events, investigating whether anything cash or other suspicious material is being carried in their paraphernalia and the chopper. A flying squad of the ECI earlier in the day searched the luggage and chopper of Karnakata Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Shivamogga.
The inspection was done by seven officials of the EC when Kumaraswamy's chopper landed in Anavatti village. The CM visited the village to take part in a public meeting. On Tuesday, the flying squad inspected the luggage of former Karnataka chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader BS Yeddyurappa at a helipad in Shivamogga.
Similarly, a flying squad also inspected the luggage of Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik at a helipad in Rourkela.
(With inputs from agencies.)