A police officer on poll duty in Tamil Nadu has been relieved from his post after he opened fire in the air. The incident took place on Saturday early morning in Ariyalur, which comes under the Chidambaram Lok Sabha constituency. Hemant Kalson, an IPS officer from the Haryana cadre, emerged from Circuit House, where he was staying, and fired nine rounds in the air. The gun Hemant used reportedly belonged to a police constable who was on security duty for the senior police officer.
The officer had been posted on poll duty for the Chidambaram (SC) Lok Sabha constituency ahead of the parliamentary elections, said report in The Hindu. Around 1 am on Saturday, he reportedly began shooting in the open air from the gun of an Armed Reserve constable present for his security. When questioned, he reportedly said that he had shot in the air to check if the gun was in a working condition.
According to PTI, the officer was suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol. Soon after the incident, the IPS officer is said to have returned to his room in Circuit House. The officer was swiftly relieved from duty following a complaint by the District Collector and District Election Officer M Vijayalakshmi. Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo announced in Chennai that a probe into the matter was underway even as the officer was relieved from dut. An FIR, too, has been registered against Hemant.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu continues to top in cash seizures across the country even as sleuths of the Election Commission have been cracking down on illegal cash distribution during the poll season. Until Friday, a total of Rs 70.90 crore had been seized by the EC, since the date polls were notified.
Tamil Nadu, which goes to polls in one phase for the Lok Sabha, will also witness bye-elections to 18 state assembly seats on April 18.