Millennium Post

Central forces should man all polling locations: Zaidi

In a bid to conduct the entire election process peacefully in West Bengal, the Chief Election commissioner (CEC) of India Nasim Zaidi has instructed the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Gupta to ensure that the all polling locations should be manned by the central forces.

Zaidi had instructed the CEO not to allow the state police within 200 metres from the polling locations. 

During a meeting with CEO and other senior officials of the Election Commission (EC), CEC and his full bench unequivocally spelled out what are the measures the commission should take to ensure an election devoid of any violence. 

The full bench of the EC has issued strict instruction to the senior election officials to ensure that there is no state police personnel within 200 metres from the polling locations, which are mainly school or college buildings or other offices which can house one or more polling booths. All the District Election Officials (DEO) have been instructed to ensure that the central forces conduct vigil at all sensitive pockets in the state. Action will be taken if someone is found not doing his/her duty properly. 

It may be mentioned that the full bench of the EC had visited the city on Monday evening and held a meeting with various political party leaders, while the administrative meeting was held on Tuesday to look into the overall poll preparation in the state.

Leaders of the Opposition parties had lodged some complaints with the commission saying that some police and administrative officials in the state were not following up the commission’s guidelines. 

Zaidi on Tuesday said entire election processes will be directly monitored by the commission for which there will be police observers in the state who will keep an eye on the activities of the police officers. They will look into whether the police officers were following the guidelines of the commission. 

The Chief Election Commission also assured that the commission was considering the proposal of deploying special observers during the election. He said the commission had been taking a note of every complaint that was available with the commission. Action would be taken if any officer was found to have flouting the order of the EC, Zaidi had assured during a press conference at a hotel in New Town. 

There will be CCTV coverage at all polling stations. Around 800 check posts will be set up across the state and around 900 flying squads fitted with GPS facilities will be pressed into the action during the polling days in various phases.
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