Amid many recent controversies making rounds in the media about the Election Commission of India, the EC has now suspended the IAS officer for checking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Odisha’s Sambalpur on Tuesday, 16th April. According to the suspension order issued by EC, Mohammed Mohsin, the suspended IAS officer, “had not acted in conformity” with instructions on Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees, which includes Narendra Modi. EC termed it a violation of norms in dealing with SPG protectees.
But the opposition parties, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, has come forward against this move, pointing out that there is no rule that exempts anyone from such checks during the election period.
The officer is accused on the grounds of “insubordination and dereliction of duty”. As per reports, as a general observer of Sambalpur constituency, the officer had carried out a sudden check of PM Modi’s helicopter, which delayed the Prime Minister by 15 minutes.
But NDTV reports that with their access to the instructions cited in the suspension order but they haven’t found any such exception listed. The instructions read: “There shall be a total and absolute ban on the use of official vehicles for campaigning, electioneering or election-related travel.”
Both Congress and AAP have been vocal against this issue. Congress posted a status updated that, “What is Modi carrying in the helicopter that he doesn’t want India to see?”
The AAP official handle also tweeted that AAP tweeted: “The #chowkidar lives in his own protected shell! Is the Chowkidar trying to hide something?”.
Mohammed Mohsin is a 1996 batch Karnataka cadre IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer. He is at present serving as a secretary in Karnataka’s Backward Class Welfare Department and was posted in Sambalpur on election duty.
Former Union secretary E.A.S. Sarma called out Election Commission’s action as a “highly questionable response”. In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and the two Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, he accused the Commission of not supporting the officer for performing his duty.