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VVPAT machine reported missing in Assam's Udalgiri

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NewsDrum Desk
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Guwahati, Mar 29 (PTI) A VVPAT machine was reported missing in Assam's Udalguri district on Friday, an official statement said.

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The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine could not be found during assembly-wise segregation after the first randomisation, it said.

A joint electoral officer was deputed to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the matter, the statement issued by the Chief Electoral Officer said.

After first-level checking of EVMs and VVPATs, the machines that were found to be working were kept in a strong room in the presence of representatives of political parties, the statement said.

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"The strong room has 24x7 CCTV coverage and armed security, and there is no question of any missing unit, due to the stringent storage and security protocol with the participation of the political parties at every stage," it said, after the preliminary inquiry.

The missing VVPAT might have been inadvertently shifted to the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) factory along with units that were found non-functional during first-level checking, the statement said.

The matter has been taken up with the ECIL authorities, it added.

Strict action will be taken if any dereliction of duty is found on the part of district officers concerned, the statement said. PTI DG DG SOM

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