HC requests Bengal officials to meet SEC members
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday requested West Bengal`s chief secretary, home secretary and DGP to meet State Election Commission officials by Saturday to arrange security of candidates for the coming panchayat elections.
Acting on a petition by a CPI (M) candidate for the village polls, Justice Sanjib Banerjee requested the officers to hold a meeting with the SEC by tomorrow and ensure that candidates for the five-phase election, which begins on July 11, get proper protection.
Manoara Bibi, a CPI (M) candidate at Kanjpur village of Bhangar Block I in neighbouring South 24-Parganas district, filed a petition before the court claiming that she was being continuously harassed by supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress ever since filing of nominations began.
Manoara claimed she had not been able to go out of her house to campaign both owing to harassment by motorcycle-bound goons and veiled threats.
It was also claimed in her petition that opposition CPI(M) had not been able to field candidates in 32 gram panchayats and three panchayat samitis in her area.
The counsel for the SEC submitted that such incidents were happening and adequate security could not be provided for security of candidates and area domination to instill confidence as the state government had not made available adequate forces.
Accepting the SEC`s submission, the court requested the state`s chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police to meet the commission officials by tomorrow to provide proper protection to the candidates.
Justice Banerjee asked the SEC to consider constraints and limitations of the state government also while seeking additional security forces.
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