The Election Commission suspended a Karnataka Cadre IAS officer in Odisha for inspecting the Prime Minister’s chopper on Wednesday alleging it mounts to violation of protocol.
The 1996 batch IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin was suspended for inspecting people protected by Special Protection Group (SPG). According to the guidelines of Election Commission protectees of SPG are exempted from checking.
“The commission has considered the material available before it and, prima facie has found dereliction of duty. It found Mohsin’s actions were contrary to its instruction concerning SPG protectees” read EC’s order.
When Prime Minister’s chopper arrived at Sambhalpur in Odisha to address a public meeting, the IAS officer inspected the chopper. The inspection reportedly caused a delay of 15 min for the PM’s arrival at the rally.
After the incident was reported the opposition parties slammed PM Modi and government on social media alleging the checks do not exempt PM’s vehicle.
“An official was suspended by ECI for doing his job of inspecting vehicles. The rule cited governs the use of official vehicles for campaigning. It DOES NOT exempt PM’s vehicle from being searched. What is Modi carrying in his helicopter that he doesn’t want India to see?” Congress tweeted.
Aam Admi Party reacted on twitter saying “Suspension of the officer who checked PM’s helicopter! The #Chowkidar lives in his own protected shell! Is the Chowkidar trying to hide something?”.
According to PTI reports Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s helicopter was checked by Election Commission’s flying squad in Rourkela. Similar checks were carried on Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s chopper in Sambhalpur.