171 votes cast in Assam booth with 90 voters

Five Assam polling personnel have been suspended after it was found that the 90 eligible voters of the booth that they were assigned had ended up casting 171 votes.

The Dima Hasao District Election Officer has also ordered a re-poll at the 107(A) Khotlir Lower Primary School polling booth in the Haflong Assembly constituency, which went to the polls in the second phase on April 1.

The booth was an auxiliary polling station of the main voting centre at Mouldam Lower Primary School nearby.

The constituency had recorded 74% voting, markedly less than the second phase average of 80.96% across 39 Assembly constituencies of southern, central and parts of northern Assam.

The District Election Officer had issued the suspension order citing dereliction of duty on April 2, but it came to light on April 4 evening.

The polling personnel suspended with immediate effect are sector officer Seikhosiem Lhangum, presiding officer Prahlad Chandra Roy, first polling officer Parameswar Charangsa, second polling officer Swaraj Kanti Das and third polling officer Lalzamlo Thiek.

A district official said the polling personnel said the villagers who came to vote at the auxiliary booth had come with their own list of voters.

“The chief of the interior village refused to accept the official voters’ list and the villagers cast their votes according to the one the chief was armed with,” he said.

The district officials did not clarify why the polling officials let the villagers have their way.

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