Kolkata: A four-member special Election Commission team arrived here today to make an independent assessment of law and order in poll-bound West Bengal, a senior official said.
Four members of a six-member special EC team, led by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Bihar Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, arrived here to oversee law and order in the state ahead of the Assembly elections, West Bengal Jt CEO Dibyendu Sarkar said, adding the remaining two members would arrive later tonight.
The decision to send a fact-finding team was taken by the EC after representatives of various political parties had highlighted the worsening law and order situation in the state in the wake of unabated political violence.
Apart from the Bihar CEO, three other senior police officers who arrived included Zaki Ahmed (DIG National Crime Record Bureau), P R K Naidu (DIG National Crime Record Bureau) and D K Pandey (ADG Jharkhand).
The remaining two senior police officers V S Reddy (DIG Andhra Pradesh) and P S Rampassi (DIG Orissa), would arrive later tonight.
"The team is the eyes and ears of the ECI. It will only see and hear from different sources and will not speak out. It will only submit its report to the ECI," Sarkar said.
The team may even talk to some political parties. However, it will finalise its next move only after making a first-hand assessment of the situation during a video Conference with DMs and SPs tomorrow, he said.
Sarkar also said that the six-member team of observers may fan out to districts in three groups during its stay in the state for some time till the assessment was over.
The EC had earlier said in Delhi that the team would visit different districts of the state immediately and make an on-the-spot assessment and submit a report to it.
"Maintenance of law and order is crucial to the conduct of free and fair and peaceful election," the EC had said.