BIG- Two ‘Reliance Jio’ staff carrying laptops detained from strong room with EVMs in Chhattisgarh


Two individuals, who claimed to be employed by Reliance Jio, were detained by police from near a strong room in Chhattisgarh. News agency ANI reported, “Two persons detained in possession of laptops from a strong room in Jagdalpur yesterday.”

A police official was quoted by the news agency, “They (apprehended individuals) are saying they’re employed with Jio. It’s being investigated if they’ve IDs. It’s not possible to enter strong room without IDs. We can say anything only after probe.”

Journalist Prashant Kumar too posted a video, but claimed that the number of arrested men were three and they were Reliance Jio employees. He wrote, “3 men, claiming to be working with RELIANCE JIO, apprehended from STRONG ROOM in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur.  EC comes up with a lame explanation: They were there to “check MOBILE SIGNALS”.  Second time when security of Strong Room has been breached in Chhattisgarh.”

Strong rooms are where EVMs and VVPAT machines are kept after the polling is over until the day of counting. Chhattisgarh went to polls in two stages last month and the counting will take place on 11 December. The latest development surrounding the presence of two Reliance Jio employees near a strong room is bound to become hugely controversial.

Only a few days ago, the Congress had reacted angrily asking the Election Commission to intervene after videos of a bus carrying EVMs without registration number had gone viral. One bus in particular had reached the strong room 48 hours after the polling was over.

The Congress had also alleged that the LED installed outside the strong room in Bhopal was turned off for nearly two hours. The EC had later clarified that it was due to brief power outage.

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