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EC suspends poll observer in Odisha for dereliction of duty

EC suspends poll observer in Odisha for dereliction of duty

New Delhi: The Election Commission has suspended a high-ranking poll observer deputed to Odisha on charges of "dereliction of duty" with regard to "SPG protectees" in a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to an EC order, Karnataka cadre IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin was suspended for "actions contrary to the instructions of the Commission concerning SPG protectees" on April 16 the day SPG-protectee Prime Minister Modi visited Sambalpur to address an election rally.

The EC took the action against the general observer of Sambalpur on the basis of a report submitted by the district collector and the deputy inspector general of police.

Modi was stated to have been held up at the place for nearly 15 minutes because of Mohsin's "actions". The officer allegedly checked PM's chopper in violation of norms.

"Checking of the prime minister's chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not in accordance with the EC guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking," said an official in Bhubaneswar without elaborating.

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 Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's chopper at Sambalpur Tuesday by a flying squad, sources said.

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