BJP workers nab ‘suspected’ EVM tinkerer; CEO allays fears

Bhubaneswar/Keonjhar: The Bharatiya Janaja Party (BJP) workers Friday night nabbed a person from the vicinity of the strong room at Odisha School of Mining and Engineering (OSME).

According to reports, BJP workers had handed over one Asha Pradeep Mohanty, who claims to be a software engineer, along with a car to the Town PS, when he was found in the vicinity of the strong room. BJP workers allege that two more suspects have fled the spot.

Alleging that the ‘suspect’ detained have come here to tamper the EVMs lodged in the strong room, BJP workers today staged a sit-in protest demanding action against the officials in-charge of the strong room for dereliction of duty.

The saffron party has questioned how come the district administration and election officer allowed a software engineer in the vicinity of  a strong room?

“Mining businessmen are behind the incident. They are trying to tinker with the EVMs,” alleged Piraja Mishra, a local BJP leader.

Meanwhile, the district administration has initiated a probe and interrogation of the ‘suspect’ was being carried out till the last reports came in.

“The person has been immediately taken into custody. We will soon provide a place where poll agents and candidates can keep a guard of the strong room in shifts,” said Keonjhar returning officer and sub-collector Somanth Pradhan.

“The security structure around the strong rooms will be intensified and adequate lighting will be provided for during the night hours. More CCTVs were also installed at the premises of the strong room,” he added and informed that a brief about the safety measures initiated will be given to the polling agents of all political parties soon.

Responding to media reports in this regard, CEO Surendra Kumar at a presser informed that a relative of the Principal, OSME had stayed at a guesthouse of the college in the vicinity of the strong room.  “I have spoken to the district Collector and SP in this connection,” Kumar said added that I have asked all the district administrations to take possession of such guesthouses or any such residential structures near the vicinity of strong rooms under section 160 of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA) 1951.

However, Kumar allayed fears over EVM tampering by saying the EVMs are standalone devices, they can never be get connected to any communicating devices available. More so, the strong room is being guarded by the BSF.