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Congress seeks judicial probe into bogus voting


Thiruvananthapuram: With a preliminary probe revealing bogus voting in the postal ballots of police officials in Kerala, the Congress party on Thursday demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter while the state police chief ordered a full fledged investigation by the Crime Branch.

Kerala's Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena, after going through the preliminary report filed by intelligence chief T. K. Vinodkumar, asked Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra to give directions for a detailed probe.

"Prima facie what has come up is that there are issues in the postal ballots and the role of the Police Association also has to be probed," Meena told the media on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran alleged foul play with the knowledge of the top brass of the CPI-M and top police officials and said only a judicial probe would find out the truth and not one by the police.

Kerala voted on April 23 to pick 20 Lok Sabha members.

Following an audio clip of two police officials speaking on postal ballots surfacing in the media, Behra ordered a probe by the intelligence wing into allegations of irregularities by CPM-backed office-bearers of the Kerala Police Association.

A four-page report submitted to Behra points at foul play and has recommended action against two police officials besides calling for a comprehensive probe.

The association consists of 58,000 police officials and is led by those said to be close to the CPI-M.

About five police officials have been identified and once the FIR to this effect is registered by the Crime Branch, these five officials would be suspended from service, according to sources in the know of things.

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