Strong room opened as per HC order

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The district authorities, on Sunday, broke open the lock of the strong room containing EVMs or records of the Dharmapuri Assembly constituency elections of 2018 at VRK College of Engineering and Technology at Nookapally in Jagtial district, in compliance with the High Court’s order.

The High Court, on Wednesday, accorded permission to the Jagtial District Collector and District Election Officer to break open the lock of the strong room before the contested candidates and recognised political parties in respect of election petition number 12 of 2019 to produce the records before the High Court on April 26.

Congress candidate A. Laxman Kumar filed the election petition in 2019 challenging the declaration of TRS candidate Koppula Eshwar, now Social Welfare Minister in Telangana government, as the elected candidate by the then authorities.

Following a direction from the Telangana High Court, a three-member team of the Election Commission of India conducted a detailed inquiry on April 17 into the alleged mismatch of keys of the strong room.

Amid tight security arrangements, the officials concerned broke open the strong room at the college building in Nookapally at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Jagtial Collector Shaik Yasmeen Basha and a senior official from New Delhi were among those present, sources said.

The process of collecting all the records/data for the purpose of furnishing them before the High Court continued till reports last came in.

Meanwhile, speaking to the media, Mr. Laxman Kumar said that out of the 20 iron trunk boxes in the strong room, only four had locks. The boxes containing 17A and 17C documents and video footage had been opened, he said, claiming that he made a written plea to the then election authorities seeking counting of VVPAT slips in the EVMs pertaining to the 14 th round of counting, but in vain.

He said, “I have immense faith in the judiciary and hope that I will get justice.”


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