Three days after an incident free Lok Sabha polls in Udhampur parliamentary constituency, a controversy has erupted in Kishtwar with a Assistant Returning Officer (ARO), Mohammad Haneef Malik, approaching the Election Commission for registration of an FIR against District SP Sanjay Kotwal for allegedly obstructing to smooth conclusion of the electoral process.
Sources said Kotwal allegedly used derogatory words for Malik, who objected to police officers’ evacuating their own personnel along with EVMs in helicopters leaving behind poll staff in snow-hit Marwah, Dachhan and Inshan areas of the district. The EVMs, according to him, had to be brought by polling staff from booths to the district headquarters.
Kishtwar forms part of Udhampur parliamentary constituency , which witnessed nearly 70 per cent polling on April 17. Sources said the poll staff was stranded following heavy snowfall in Marwah, Dachhan and Inshan areas. As the weather cleared, the administration sent helicopter sorties to bring them back . However, the police personnel took custody of the EVMs and boarded the helicopter leaving behind the poll staff.
At one place, policemen even thrashed poll officials when latter insisted on accompanying the EVMs.