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Kolkata Police chief skips poll review meet, CEC seeks explanation

CEC has sought an explanation from the Kolkata Police chief.

Kolkata Police chief skips poll review meet, CEC seeks explanation

KOLKATA: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Friday sought an explanation from the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar after he skipped the two-day Election Commission’s review meeting in the state. 

“Kolkata Police commissioner was replaced by the special commissioner. When we asked him where was he, he said that he doesn’t know the whereabouts of the commissioner and added that he had been asked to attend the meet. We have sought an explanation from the controlling officer of the Police Commissioner. They will give us in writing why he skipped the meet,” CEC Arora said, adding, “Someone told me it was his birthday.”

According to sources, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) had asked the ADG Law and Order to convey to the Kolkata Police Commissioner that he must attend the meet on the second day, however, he skipped the meeting today too. 

Reacting strongly to Kolkata Police Commissioner's decision not to attend the election review meeting, the CEC sought an explanation from the Home Secretary -  the controlling officer of the police commissioner.

On being quizzed whether the present prevailing conditions in the state are conducive to hold free and fair polls, the CEC said that ''there is room for improvement.''

Sources revealed that the Commission was unhappy with the police as far as the execution of non-bailable warrants were concerned. “The Commission has directed the District Magistrates and police officers to carefully look into law and order concerns. They have been asked to ensure speedy execution of non-bailable warrants (NBWs) and speedy disposal of pending cases of the electoral offences from last elections,” Arora added.

The full bench of Election Commission of India (ECI) was on a two-day visit to Kolkata to review poll preparedness in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

On Day 1 of the visit, the Election Commission officials held a meeting with all the political parties in the state. The second meeting was held with all the district Superintend of Police, District Magistrate and DEOs. The third meeting was held with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and nodal officers from the Bengal Police.

On Day 2, the Election Commission held meetings with the Excise department, IT department, transport department. Later in the day, the commission held a meeting with the West Bengal Chief Secretary and Director General of West Bengal Police.