CCTVs in MP strongroom did not function for an hour: EC

Indo Tibetan Border Police Force jawans guard outside a strong room where Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are kept, Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, in Jabalpur, Thursday, Nov 29, 2018. (PTI Photo) 

The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Madhya Pradesh admitted that CCTV cameras and LED screen display installed outside a “strong room” in the state capital did not work for more than an hour due to disruption in electricity supply on Friday.

The CEO’s office in Bhopal said an additional LED, inverter and generator had been installed to make sure that CCTV cameras continue to record visuals in and around the strongroom even during a power disruption.

The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) devices used in the November 28 Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh are kept in strongrooms across the state. They will be brought out of the rooms on December 11, the day the votes will be counted.

The strong rooms are guarded by paramilitary forces round the clock. The representatives of political parties also keep a watch. Besides, CCTV cameras and LED screen displays are also installed for surveillance.

After the Congress and AAP alleged that CCTVs in a strongroom in Bhopal had not worked for about an hour, the CEO’s office had asked for a report from Bhopal collector.

“A report obtained from the Bhopal Collector states that CCTV cameras and an LED display installed outside the strong room did not function from 8.19 am to 9.35 am on November 30 due to failure of electricity supply. Because of this, recording could not be done during the given time period,” the CEO’s office said in a press note. “An additional LED screen, an inverter and a generator have been installed in order to ensure continuous electricity supply,” it added.

It clarified that the cameras installed on the premises were now functioning and that two cordons of security personnel have also been stationed at the venue for security. The security personnel are also maintaining a logbook, and the machines are perfectly safe, it said.

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