Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Saturday suspended the Vikarabad district Collector Syed Omer Jaleel as per the directive of the of the Election Commission for allegedly unauthorisedly opening a strong room where EVMs used in the recent assembly polls in a particular constituency, were kept.

"The Election Commission has recommended to suspend him...for unauthorisedly opening the strong room (where EVMs were kept) which he was not supposed to do," a senior state government official told PTI.

An election petition (vis-a-vis December 7 Assembly elections) was pending in courts involving the EVMs. The Collector's explanation was that he was not aware about the election petition filed with regard to the particular assembly segment, the official said. The Commission, however, did not agree with the explanation, he said.

The Commission asked the state government to issue orders for his suspension before 5 PM on Saturday and the government complied with it, the official said.

The Congress had on February 2 demanded the suspension of the Collector Syed Omer Jaleel after officials allegedly removed seals of the EVMs used in the polls to the constituency, the result of which has been challenged in court.

Telangana Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka had demanded that the EC order an inquiry against the officials concerned. Congress nominee G Prasad Kumar had moved the Telangana High Court, challenging the win of his TRS rival, alleging large-scale irregularities in the polls.

In a petition to the EC, he alleged that the officials' actions were in gross violation and in defiance of the instructions of the Election Commission "with malafide intentions with an ulterior motive to defeat the due legal process to deny me justice." He requested the EC to immediately place the officers under suspension and order an enquiry. (PTI)

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