The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued strict instruc­tions to ensure the security of the electronic voting machines (EVM) kept in the strong rooms after the election.

The poll panel said that a two-tier security ar­rangement should be made.

Protocols for entering the inner parameter of the securi­ty ring have also been laid down by the ECI.

The guidelines of the ECI said that the strong rooms should have a double lock system.

One key of the strong mom should he kept with the district election officer and the other should he with the re­turning officer of the Assembly constituency concerned.

The ECI said two cor­doned security arrangements should be made in all the strong rooms.

Central paramilitary force personnel should form the innermost parameter and state police should man the outer parameter of the strong rooms.

All the candidates should be intimated in writing to depute their representatives to keep a close watch on the strong room.

They should be allowed to stay in a location outside the inner parameter at a location from where they get a good view of the entry points.

If required, CCW cameras should be installed so that the representatives can see the door of the strong room.

The ECI said a control room should be operational near the strong morn round the dock and a gazette officer along with a police officer should be put on duty to monitor the security arrangements of the strong rooms.

There should be sufficient arrangement for fire extinguishers inside and near the strong rooms and a close watch should also be kept on the unused EVMs.

Central paramilitary forces would have to keep a logbook of all persons entering the inner parameter, including poll officials and police personnel, and date, time, and names of the persons should be recorded properly. Such visits will also have to be recorded with video cameras.

There should be interrupted power supply at the location of the strong rooms during the entire period when the EVMs are stored.

The Chief Electoral Officer should take up the issue with the State Electricity Board, while generators should also be kept as backup.

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