Election Commission

1. The Election Commission suspends Arpana Sarmah for insubordination and negligence.
2. The incident involved Sarmah’s refusal to perform duties and an altercation with DC.
3. Sarmah’s suspension follows an incident during election duties in Tihu LAC.

Guwahati, May 17 Election Commission of India has taken action against Arpana Sarmah, the Circle Officer of Paschim Nalbari Revenue Circle and Assistant Returning Officer (AERO) for Tihu Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC), suspending her due to insubordination and negligence in performing her election duties.

The suspension stemmed from an incident in which Sarmah allegedly refused to carry out her duties and engaged in a confrontation with the DC while attempting to film her senior.

According to Nalbari DC Varnali Deka, the altercation arose when Sarmah neglected her responsibilities during election-related tasks.

Despite repeated requests to shift materials and EVMs to the strong room after completion of work, Sarmah declined to comply, leading to chaos. She eventually abandoned her post around 2 AM, leaving unfinished tasks that had to be reassigned to other officials.

The suspension order, issued on May 15, 2024, was confirmed by the Chief Electoral Officer of Assam the following day. It cites Sarmah’s failure to fulfill election duties, disruptive conduct, and gross negligence during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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Pending further departmental proceedings under the Assam Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1964, Sarmah will remain suspended until further notice.

During this period, her headquarters will be the Office of Director of Land Records and Surveys in Guwahati, Assam, where she will receive a subsistence allowance as per regulations.

The incident leading to Sarmah’s suspension occurred on May 8, 2024, when she filed an FIR against DC Varnali Deka, exacerbating the conflict between the two officials.

The disruption caused by this conflict has significantly affected election preparations in the district.