An FIR has been registered against a government official deputed as additional returning officer (ARO) in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls for allegedly giving winning certificates to candidates who lost, an official said on Friday. Additional returning officer (ARO) Virendra Kumar has been booked for cheating, forgery and fraud on a complaint from Returning Officer Sunil Kumar, a senior police official said.
On Wednesday night, there were incident of arson in Nai Bazar police outpost by the supporters of the candidates who alleged that they was not declared winner due to fraud committed by the official.
Police have arrested 18 people and lodged four separate FIRs in connection with vandalism and arson of the police outpost.
After the counting of votes on Tuesday, Ravi Nishad, a candidate of district Panchayat ward number 60, and Kodai Nishad, of ward number 61, claimed they have won the election with over 2,000 votes, but the administration didn't give them certificate.
On Wednesday morning, certificates of victory was given to Gopal Yadav for ward number 60 and Ramesh for ward number 61.
The supporters of Ravi and Kodai held a demonstration at Nai Bazar crossing, pelted stones, and also set ablaze the police post there.
Taking note of the incident, District Magistrate Vijyendra Pandiyan ordered matching of votes booth-wise and declared both Ravi and Kodai winners on Thursday.
"An FIR has been lodged against ARO Virendra Kumar, who is an executive engineer in the irrigation department. A a letter recommending action against him would be sent to the State Election Commission," the DM said.
Police said, "Four cases under various IPC sections have been lodged against 60 named and 500 unidentified people in connection with the vandalism. Based on CCTV footage, we have arrested 18 people and are looking for others."
SSP Dinesh P Kumar said strict action would be taken against those involved in the arson.