An officer posted as General Observer in Odisha has been suspended by the Election Commission for allegedly checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Sambalpur on Tuesday, in violation of norms.
The 1996 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, Mohammed Mohsin, has not acted in conformity with the Election Commission’s instructions concerning Special Protection Group or SPG protectees, an order issued by the commission said.
“Checking of the prime minister’s chopper, undertaken at Sambalpur, was not in accordance with the Election Commission guidelines as SPG protectees are exempt from such checking,” said a senior official without elaborating.
The prime minister was stated to have been held up at the place for around 15 minutes because of the sudden checking, the official said.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter was also checked by the personnel of the Election Commission flying squad in Rourkela on Tuesday.
Similar checking was carried out for Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s chopper at Sambalpur on Tuesday by the flying squad, sources said.
Though as per the instructions of the ECI, a protocol should be maintained before checking the protectees of Special Protection Group (SPG) during the electioneering, the officer, who happens to be the Secretary of Backward Classes Welfare Department reportedly did not adhere to the guidelines.
A senior official of ECI said the disciplinary action has been initiated against Mohsin for dereliction of duty following a report submitted by Odisha’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar. On Tuesday, Kumar had reported that Mohsin did not act in conformity with the commission’s instruction concerning SPG protectees. Sambalpur district election officer and DIG of Sambalpur had also prima-facie found the action of the officer was in contravention of the guidelines.