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Three men caught with laptops in EVM strongroom in Chhattisgarh: It's old news from 2018 assembly election

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Rumour

An undated paper cutting is going viral on social media with a claim that three men have been caught with laptops inside the EVM strongroom in Chhattisgarh's Bastar.

This paper clipping was brought to our notice by one of our readers on Twitter.

The report also claims that all three were the employees of Reliance Jio.  Two guards have been suspended as well. 

The incident happened in Mahila Polytechnic College Jagdalpur.

A Facebook page Bahujan Mukti Party, Voice Of India has also shared the clip without providing any context.

The paper clip is viral on Whatsapp as well.

Our Investigation

When we did a keyword search, we found that this is old news and the incident happened during the Chhattisgarh Assembly Election last year. National Herald had reported in Dec 2018 that three persons, who claimed to be employees of Reliance Jio were detained by police from a strongroom at Women’s Polytechnic College.

On Dec 7, 2018, Prashant Kumar, a Journalist, posted a video on Twitter and wrote, “Three men, claiming to be working with Reliance Jio, apprehended from strongroom in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur. EC comes up with a lame explanation: They were there to “check mobile signals”. The second time when the security of Strong Room has been breached in Chhattisgarh.”

However, ANI had reported that only two men were arrested. The tweet reads: "Chhattisgarh: 2 persons detained in possession of laptops from a strong room in Jagdalpur yesterday. Police say, "they're saying they're employed with Jio. It's being investigated if they've IDs. It's not possible to enter the strong room without IDs. We can say anything only after probe"

However, Reliance Jio later refuted contentions that the men detained outside an EVM strong room in Chhattisgarh's Bastar on Thursday were their employees.

JIO's spokesperson said, "We wish to clarify that the three men detained are not employees of Reliance Jio. On 6th December, upon an outage reported with one of our mobile tower located at the Mahila Polytechnic College Jagdalpur, we understand that our vendors - NDS (New Distinct Services) and Delta Power Solutions Pvt. Limited sent their technicians to the site to carry out regular maintenance work".

"We further understand that these technicians were solely carrying out their maintenance work near the tower and were not present in or near the strong room as reported".

Fact

The viral paper clip is old news from last year during Chhattisgarh Assembly Election. Initially, it was reported that three employees of Reliance JIO were arrested with a laptop inside the strong room but later JIO had clarified that they were not present inside or near the strong room and was arrested from the Mobile Tower present inside the college.

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