Officials suspended over interference in voting at elderly woman’s home in Kerala’s Kannur

A person named Ganesan allegedly interfering in the voting of 92-year-old Devi at a polling booth set up at her residence.


Published Apr 19, 2024 | 3:58 PMUpdatedApr 19, 2024 | 3:58 PM

Kannur voting interference

Four polling officials were suspended from service for allegedly failing to prevent outside interference in the voting process at the home of a 92-year-old woman during the Lok Sabha polls in the Kannur district in Kerala, officials said on Friday, 19 April.

District Collector Arun K Vijayan, also the District Election Officer, suspended the special polling officer, polling assistant micro observer, special police officer, and videographer in connection with the incident reported from Kalliasseri Grama Panchayat.

The district collector also recommended an investigation against a person named Ganesan for allegedly interfering in the voting of 92-year-old Devi at a polling booth set up at her residence on 18 April to facilitate her democratic right. Kalliasseri Assembly segment in Kannur district falls under the Kasaragod Lok Sabha seat.

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‘Attempt to sabotage election’

The Congress alleged that Ganesan was a worker of the CPI(M), while the BJP alleged that it was an attempt to sabotage the elections. The Left party has not reacted to the allegations.

“When voting was conducted at Devi’s house, it was observed that there was external interference leading to a loss of the secret nature of the vote,” stated an official release.

It added that the Kalliasseri sub-polling officer had officially reported to the Kannapuram Police Station, through the City Police Commissioner, to take criminal action against the individual who acted illegally and the polling officials.

CCTV footage aired by news channels showed the man allegedly interfering in the voting process.

In the report submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer, the district collector stated that Ganesan had interfered in the voting process, violating Section 128(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (Maintenance of secrecy of voting).

The district collector’s report recommended departmental action and a police investigation against them.

According to the report, the incident also involved a violation of Section 171(c) of the Indian Penal Code (Undue influence at elections).

Elections for the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala will be held on 26 April.

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