Three polling officials, including two presiding officers were allegedly found an inebriated state in Mizoram's Lunglei district and were removed from their duties after they attempted to assault other officials. According to a senior official at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the three persons were immediately removed from the election duties and the concerned authorities were asked to initiate departmental enquiries against them.
Those who faced action include James RT Khuma, an Associate Professor at Government J Buana College, who was the presiding officer at a polling station in Lunglei South assembly seat.
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"He was found to be intoxicated in the DC office premises, was behaving in an extremely unruly manner and attempted to physically assault a senior officer in the presence of others," Lunglei Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Returning Officer Ankita Chakravarty said in an order.
She ordered the principal of Government J Buana College to immediately initiate disciplinary proceedings against Khuma considering it to be "serious misconduct".
Lalramhluna, an Executive Engineer (Highways) of PWD, the presiding officer at Sachan polling station in Thorang seat came to collect polling materials at Saikuti Hall after consuming alcohol.
"While on poll day, this is a serious breach of official duty," Chakravarty said and asked the PWD's Lunglei Superintending Engineer to initiate departmental proceedings against the officer.
S Lalrinthanga, the Headmaster of Government Primary School at Rualalung, the third polling officer at Phairuangchhuah polling station in West Tuipui Assembly constituency also reported for duty in a drunken state and later could not be found at the despatch centre.
"This is a breach of election duty and amounts to serious misconduct. You are hence directed to suspend him with immediate effect," Chakravarty said in her order to Sub-Divisional Education Officer of Lunglei South.
Voting in Mizoram is underway to elect representatives from 40 Assembly constituencies, where a total of 7,70,395 voters, including 3,94,897 women and 32,545 first time voters, will decide the fate of 209 candidates.
Around 29 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first four hours of polling in the state, Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Kundra said.