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After ‘Theft’ Of 25 Votes, DC Urges CEO For Re-Polling In Sarpanch Post In Poonch

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Jammu: Deputy Commissioner Poonch has urged Chief Election Officer J&K to conduct polling afresh in a Sarpanch Halqa after “theft” of 25 votes.
In this connection, the Deputy Commissioner has written a letter to the CEO, submitting details for seeking the re-polling at Upper Sanal of block Surankote in the mountainous district.
The election in Panchayat Upper Sanal was held in first phase on November 17and polling was done smoothly.
All the polling parties reached at the office of Returning Officer where counting centre was established.
The deputy commissioner said that the Returning Officer has reported to him that he had completed the counting of Panchayat Sanal Lower peacefully and declared the results accordingly. However, during counting of votes of Sarpanch constituencies of Panchayat Upper Sanal, a person namely Irfan Ali entered the counting centre and Introduced himself as an employee of Rural Development Department and has been deputed for collection of information of counting for onward submission to higher authorities. The Returning Officer also reported Irfan found access to the counting table on the pretext of getting some information and be seated next to the counting table. The counting staff took notice of the incident and he was removed from counting centre Immediately after that it was noticed that one bundle containing 25 votes of Sarpanch was missing.
The counting staff tried hard to reach out to the person, Irfan Ali (GRS) and brought him back in the counting centre with the help of village Chowkidar, the Deputy commissioner said in the letter.
On the enquiry, it was revealed that the GRS is real nephew of a contesting candidate and his indulgence in disappearance of 25 votes cannot be ruled out.
“In this regard, registration of FIR against Irfan Ali GRS and Niaz Ahmed GRS has also been recommended and both the officials have also been placed under suspension.” Moreover, additional Deputy Commissioner, Pooch have also been designated as enquiry officer who will conduct the enquiry into the matter and submit the detailed report within a week’s time, the deputy commissioner said. “Difference of final vote tally of both the candidates is 13 i.e. less than 25,” the deputy commissioner said, adding, “
Eventually, the deputy commissioner has recommended re-polling for Sarpanch at Upper Sanal on November 29 when polling is scheduled in Phase-V of block Lassana.

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