Thiruvananthapuram: A day after Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena directed the DGP to order a detailed probe into postal ballot malpractice and initiate action against those found guilty, State Police Chief Loknath Behera has ordered a crime branch inquiry.
The DGP issued directions to the Crime Branch ADGP to constitute a special investigation team for conducting detailed investigations into the allegations of postal ballot malpractice. He said penal action would be taken against the police personnel involved in the incident after registration of case and producing the FIR.The DGP said all general issues connected with postal ballot controversy involving police personnel would be probed by crime branch team separately.
Mr Behera had on Wednesday forwarded the intelligence wing report on the postal ballot controversy to the chief electoral officer along with recommendation for registration of case and action against officials.
The crime branch probe was ordered following the approval of the report by Mr Meena on Wednesday.
The CEO called for a detailed examination into what extent the police association had intervened in the postal ballot controversy. The preliminary inquiry had detected the involvement of the association in the malpractice. Apart from investigations into the complaints submitted by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, the crime branch would also find out if there was any lapse on the part of district nodal officers in following the directions issued by DGP for distribution of postal ballots.
The crime branch besides registering cases against commando Vaishakh, who is posted at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple security wing, would also examine his voice clip pertaining to postal ballots.The cases would be registered under the Representation of Peoples Act 136 D, F, G and action would also be initiated as per the Kerala Government Servants conduct rules.
Vaishakh was in chief minister's security for a month. Later he was attached with former minister Thomas Chandy's security. He is reportedly a close relative of a state leader of police association.
In the preliminary probe he was found to have collected the postal ballots of AR Battalion.
Meanwhile, the crime branch will also carry out a probe against Arun Mohan, Ratheesh, Rajesh Kumar and Manikuttan in connection with the mailing of postal ballots.
The DGP on Tuesday had recommended action against those responsible for the malpractices detected in the postal ballot of police personnel. He forwarded the report received from Intelligence ADGP T K Vinod Kumar who was asked to look into the matter earlier.
The Intelligence chief found that most irregularities took place in Kasaragod, Kannur, Vadakara, Alathur, Kollam and Attingal Lok Sabha constituencies.
It was also found that hundreds of postal ballots have been sent to the house of a member of the Left-linked police association at Vattapara in Thiruvananthapuram....