Seizure of cash from vehicle: SEC directs stern action against guilty

Bhubaneswar: Talking note of the gross violation of model code of conduct enforced in Odisha for the ensuing panchayat polls scheduled to kick off on February 13, the State Election Commission (SEC) today directed the collector and SP of Jharsuguda district to take stern action against the persons from whom police had seized cash and other poll related documents and posters from the vehicle used by them.

The Commission, after receiving a report from the district collector and SP, has directed them to conduct a thorough and impartial probe and take appropriate action considering it as a poll related crime if they find conclusive evidence that the seized cash was meant to be distributed among the voters to influence them.

Also Read: Rs 12.30 lakh seized from political party worker

Notably, police had seized a cash of Rs 88,710, documents and posters relating to panchayat election, from the possession of Goutam Pradhan which was kept inside a vehicle (OD-23-C-6584) near Punjipathar under Lakhanpur block on National Highway-49 on February 8. Prior to this, Rengali Police had seized cash worth Rs 12.30 lakh from the possession of Debaraj Barik (38) and Babaji Barik (28) and seized a Mahindra XUV (OD-15-D-2525) used by them. There were allegations against the duo that they were carrying the cash for distribution among the voters in Pithinda Gram Panchayat.