Bhopal: Latest inspections have found that Ballot Unit (BU) and Detachable Memory Module (DMM), which act as key components of an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), are missing from safe rooms in a few districts of Madhya Pradesh, according to RTI documents. However, the RTI did not specify whether the EVMs were used in the last elections in the state. These inspection reports were prepared during April and June this year and provided to RTI applicant Ajay Dubey who had sought details from the State Election Commission of the latest reports received from district administrations on security and management of EVMs. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana Nine DMMs were found missing during the inspection of EVMs store room in Umaria, the reply said, without mentioning any reason behind it. The Detachable Memory Module is an extra memory of the EVM which can be detached from the machine and stored separately. According to Master Stock Register (MSR), there were supposed to be 2,709 DMMs in a strong room at a government polytechnic college in Narsinghpur district. During inspection, 2,508 DMMs were not found, according to the reply given by the district administration. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah In a note, the Narsinghpur district authority said 687 DMMs, which were not used in elections (without mentioning what polls they are referring to), were sent to the commission’s office and those used in elections were sent to ECIL, Hyderabad for disposal. There are 201 DMMs available in the store room, the administration of Narsinghpur district said, without mentioning details of other missing EVMs. Nine Ballot Units were not found during the inspection of a strong room in Bhind district, the RTI reply said. A ballot unit is is a small box-like device, on top of which each candidate and his/her election symbol is listed like a big ballot paper. The voter polls his vote by pressing the blue button against the name of his desired candidate. Errors were found in 13 Control Units and 16 Ballot Units, during pre-first level checks, in May 2018, and they were not rectified by engineers sent by commission, said a copy of the report dated May 21, 2019 by Bhind district to the State Election Commission. In Mandsaur, eight BUs were found missing and one DMM was missing in Shajapur district, according to the RTI reply. A total of 26 DMMs were found missing in a strong room at Old Collector Bhavan, Balaghat district, it said, adding that 11 and 28 BUs were not found in the store room in Sagar and Gwalior districts, respectively. There were districts like Ashoknagar, Shahdol, Dhar, Seoni, Shivpuri and Anuppur where all Control Units and Ballot Units were accounted for. “A thorough probe is needed to immediately trace missing Control Units, Ballot Units or DMMs. It poses a serious security concern over the safety of EVMs,” said Dubey. There were some district administrations like Bhopal and Rewa, who have not submitted the inspection reports, he said.
China and Sri Lanka had talks today on expanding defence ties between both countries.China’s State Councilor and Defense Minister General Chang met President Maithripala Sirisena today and discussed ways both countries can work together. He also extended thanks for the Chinese government for the training opportunities which have been provided to Sri Lankan security forces for a long time. The President commended the assistance given to Sri Lanka by the Chinese government during the crucial period of war in the country. After wrapping up visit to Sri Lanka, Gen. Chang will visit Nepal upon invitation of Nepali Ministry of Defense. General Chang Wanquan said that a strong foundation has been built for the betterment of the economy, society and the people under the current President of Sri Lanka. He conveyed the congratulations by the President of China on this regard.General Wanquan further stated that China’s objective is to strengthen the long term relationship with Sri Lanka. He recalled that the diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka have a history of sixty years.At the invitation of Defence Ministry of Sri Lanka, General Chang Wanquan arrived in Sri Lanka last night to commence his visit to the South Asian country. Vice Admiral Su Zhiqian, deputy commander of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is among the main entourage of Gen. Chang. (Colombo Gazette) The President who recalled the long term relationship between Sri Lanka and China, thanked General Chang for the support given by China for the independence and national security of Sri Lanka. He expressed his trust over China’s continues provision of required training for the security forces in Sri Lanka.President Sirisena stated that the two countries will sign several agreements. He said those agreements will not do any harm to the pride, independence and national security of Sri Lanka.