Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 23:
The controversial BDO of Marsaghai block in Odisha’s Kendrapara district Sushant Kumar Pati, who has been in the eye of a storm over allegations of stocking EVMs at his official residence, has been transferred.
According to a Panchayatiraj department notification issued on Tuesday, Pati has been shifted to Narasinghapur block in Cuttack district. He will be replaced in Marsaghai by the BDO, Narasinghapur Bishnu Prasad Acharya.
Pati was assaulted by a mob after they found 28 pairs of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) kept in a government vehicle parked near his residence in the district headquarters town of Kendrapada.
The mob also ransacked his house.
Although the EVMs were unused, the district collector had recommended disciplinary action against him for not depositing the machines with the strongroom.
However, the chief electoral officer Dr Mona Sharma exonerated the BDO apparently because she felt he had no ‘malafide’ intention in keeping the unused EVMs with him.
Incidentally, soon after the incident, the state OAS officers’ body rallied behind Pati and defended his action while threatening to boycott counting work on May 16 if the officer’s attackers were not rounded up within 48 hours.
The OAS officers association has been on a pendown strike since Monday demanding the arrest of all those who had assaulted the officer. Although the FIR filed by Pati’s wife refers to a mob of 600 persons who attacked her husband and home, the police have arrested 12 persons – mostly workers of the BJP and the Congress -so far.