EC special team visits five districts in poll-bound W Bengal

Members of Election Commission team that would make an independent assessment of the law and order situation in poll-bound West Bengal, on Tuesday visited some `recent troublespots` in five districts in the state.

Updated: Jan 18, 2011, 22:01 PM IST

Kolkata: Members of Election Commission
team that would make an independent assessment of the law and
order situation in poll-bound West Bengal, on Tuesday visited some
`recent troublespots` in five districts in the state.

Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, the team leader and Chief
Electoral Officer of Bihar and Zaki Ahmed, DIG National Crime
Records Bureau, held a meeting with North 24 Parganas District
Magistrate Vinod Kumar and Superintendent of Police Rahul
Srivastava, besides visiting Sashan area, that recently
witnessed clashes between CPI(M) and Trinamool activists.

The two officials visited the home of Mahananda
Sardar, a Trinamool worker killed in the recent political
violence at Sasan. Some villagers there complained about of
police inaction.

Two others EC observers, PRK Naidu, DIG National
Crime Records Bureau and VS Reddy, DIG Andhra Pradesh,
visited West Midnapore, Burdwan, Purulia and Bankura
districts.

In Burdwan district, Naidu and Reddy visited Kherua
village, where many villagers have fled since violence broke
out a year ago following the killing of a local CPI-M leader.

They visited local Trinamool Congress leader Debu
Dhara, whose house was burnt down.

Villagers told the two officials how a Trinamool
supporter Dilip Ghosh of Brahmapur village was killed with his
throat slit, eyes gouged out and tongue cut-off.

The villagers said that they had informed the
officials about the existence of camps of CPI(M) armed cadre
in Kowarpur, Dhanrukhi and Atkula villages.

They earlier in the day held a meeting with West
Midnapore District Magistrate Surindar Gupta and
Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma at the circuit house in
Midnapore town.

They told the DM that the full six-member team would
be back on January 20 or 21 as part of their mission to submit
a report to the Election Commission.

They visited Bankura and Purulia districts in the
evening and held meetings with the district magistrates and
superintendents of police.

Meanwhile, state Additional Chief Electoral Officer N
K Sahana complained that they were in the dark about the visit
of the EC observers.

"We are in the dark. They are making their own
schedule of visits," Sahana told reporters here.

Sahana said the EC observers were informing the
districts authorities only half an hour before arrival.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) state secretary and Left Front
chairman Biman Bose said it was unprecedented that police
officers from others states had been sent by the EC as
observers when the election notification and dates were yet
to be announced.

"Sending EC observers to assess law and order is
unprecedented in West Bengal. It never happened in the past,"
he said in Bolpur in Birbhum district.

Bose said a watch was being kept on the observers. "We
will comment later.

PTI