Gangtok: Researchers from the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) have been detained for conducting a post-poll survey.
Mukund Giri, along with another researcher involved in the exercise of conducting the post-poll survey are currently under detention at Gangtok Sadar police station since Tuesday.
According to an officer at the police station, the researchers have been detained after a complaint was received by Sub Divisional Magistrate. “There were some protests by locals about the survey and two people have been taken under preventive detention,” the officer was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Giri said that they have been conducting the survey in the state since Sunday, 14 April, but the problem began on Tuesday.
“Earlier in the day when our students were conducting survey at Airthang in East Sikkim, a group of people surrounded them. We have been brought to a police station in Gangtok where we are being detained,” Giri said as quoted by the daily. Giri said similar exercises are being carried in other northeastern states, he maintained that the team has not sought any permission.
“We have carried out such surveys in past. We do not require any permission. The authorities are alleging that we are violating the norms of secrecy of elections,” he said.
The authorities maintain that any exit poll, opinion poll, a political survey is not allowed to be conducted at a time when the model code of conduct is in place without seeking prior permission.
“We have sought a report from East Sikkim district returning officer on the whole issue,” R Telang, Chief Electoral Officer of Sikkim said.
Polls for the 32 Assembly seats, one Lok Sabha seat in the state were conducted during on April 11.