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Election Commission suspends officer for checking PM's chopper

New Delhi: The Election Commission suspended an IAS officer on Wednesday night for checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's helicopter in Odisha's Sambalpur, terming it a violation of norms in dealing with SPG protectees.

In its order, the commission said Mohammad Mohsin was suspended for actions contrary to its instructions concerning those being protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees.

Modi had visited Sambalpur to address an election rally on April 16.

The Congress criticised the EC's action against Mohsin, a Karnataka cadre IAS officer, saying the rules cited by it to punish the bureaucrat do not exempt PM's vehicle from being searched.

"What is Modi carrying in the helicopter that he doesn't want India to see," it asked.

The Aam Aadmi Party also took a jibe at Modi in a tweet.

"Suspension of the officer who checked PM's helicopter. The chowkidar lives in his own protected shell! Is the Chowkidar trying to hide something," it asked.

The commission took action against Mohsin, the general observer of Sambalpur, based on a report submitted by the district collector and the deputy inspector general of police.

Modi was learnt to have been held up at Sambalpur for nearly 15 minutes because of Mohsin's "actions".

"Checking of the prime minister's chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not under the EC guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking," said an official in Bhubaneswar.

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

A similar check was carried out on Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's chopper at Sambalpur Tuesday, sources said.

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