KOLKATA: A full team of the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday instructed West Bengal’s Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Gyanwant Singh to execute all pending non-bailable arrest warrants by the end of this month.
Assembly elections in the state are expected to take place in April. It is learnt that of the 50,000 pending arrests, nearly 12,000 were made in the last four days.
“Singh reasoned that because of Covid-19 and cyclone Amphan, there were problems in executing warrants. He submitted a list of persons with criminal records, who operate from jails,” said a source.
The commission also asked Singh to contain violence before the announcement of election dates. The agenda of the meeting convened by the ECI focused on Bengal’s law and order issues.
Opposition parties often complain of bloodshed during polls in the state. The ECI met other agencies including BSF and CRPF to discuss deployment of forces. Sources in the commission said officials are particularly keen to find out security requirements in Junglemahal and border areas.
“This time, the commission might ask for additional forces. As the number of booths has risen to 1,01,733 from 77,247, there are chances that the number of security personnel will see an increase of 25 per cent, compared to what was used for Lok Sabha polls,” said a commission official.
The polls are likely to witness a tussle between TMC and BJP. Leaders of both sides have levelled charges against forces. TMC’s secretary-general Partha Chatterjee alleged BSF was threatening villagers to vote for a particular party, which the paramilitary dismissed. BJP leaders have accused the state police of being partial while imposing rules.
Three BJP men held for controversial chants
Three BJP activists, including the Hooghly district youth wing chief Suresh Sahu, have been arrested for allegedly raising ‘goli maro...’ (shoot the traitors) slogan at a roadshow of party leader Suvendu Adhikari here, police said on Thursday.
Some BJP activists had allegedly raised the slogan at a party programme in West Bengal’s Hooghly district on Wednesday, following which district police registered a suo motu case and arrested them late at night, an officer said. The three will be produced at a court on Friday