Odisha Panchayat Elections: Police officer, college principal suspended for violation of poll code

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has suspended a college principal and a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) on a charge of violation of Model Code of Conduct (MMC), which is in force in the state for the ensuing Panchayat election.

Principal of Maa Tarini Higher Secondary School in Mahakalapada of Kendrapara district, Bikash Chandra Das and SDPO of Salipur, Prasanta Majhi faced suspension for allegedly organising a public meeting on the premises of college recently, officials said on Wednesday.

The Kendrapara sub-collector and Home department had issued two orders on Tuesday on immediate suspension of Das and Majhi, respectively. Both have been suspended on the recommendation of the State Election Commission (SEC), the officials said.

Besides, an FIR has been lodged against the college principal for allegedly allowing a public gathering in his college in violation of model code of conduct and also Covid-19 norms. The Mahakalapara tahasildar has lodged the FIR.

On Tuesday, when the video of the public meeting in the college flashed in the media, the SEC had recommended the State government for suspension of the principal and police officer after conducting a probe. It was also alleged that the duo officials also attended the meeting.

Notably, the Panchayat poll will be held in Odisha in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. Results will be declared on February 26, 27 and 28.

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