Amid ongoing third phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday suspended a sector officer after EVMs and VVPATs were found at the residence of a TMC leader in Uluberia.
According to the EC, Tapan Sarkar, sector officer of Sector 17 in AC 177 Uluberia Uttar at Howrah district, went with reserved EVM and slept at a relative's house. It was a reserved EVM that has been removed from the election process.
"This is a gross violation of EC's instructions for which he has been suspended and charges will be framed for major punishment. The said EVM and VVPAT have been taken out of the stock and shall not be used in the polls. Severe action will be taken against all involved," read an EC statement.
General Observer Neeraj Pawan has checked the intactness of all seals. These EVMs have now been stored in a separate room in Observer's custody. The EC has also directed the suspension of the Sector Police attached to the Sector Officer.
EVMs and VVPATs were recovered from the residence of a local TMC leader in Howrah's Uluberia in the early hours of Tuesday.
Polling for the first two phases of the West Bengal elections was held on March 27 and April 1 respectively. The fourth phase of polling will take place on April 10. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.