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Armed state cops to be deployed at all booths during polls: Anuj Sharma

Kolkata: State Additional Director General of police (Law and Order), Anuj Sharma said on Monday that armed state police personnel will be deployed at all booths during the Panchayat elections.
Sharma also stressed on stringent checking at the bordering areas, to stop the entry of outsiders, particularly from neighbouring Jharkhand, so that there is no disturbance during the three phased polls scheduled on May 1, 3 and 5.
Taking a reference to the incident of violence at Mohammad Bazar in Birbhum, Sharma also did not rule out the involvement of Maoists entering the state for hindering the nomination process for the polls, that had started from April 2.
"We have arrested 28 people in connection with the violence at Mohammad Bazar, among whom three are residents of Jharkhand. We are checking whether they are involved in Maoist activities," he added.
Sharma had time and again reiterated that outsiders from Jharkhand had entered the state and tried to disturb the nomination process that concluded on Monday.
Meanwhile, sources in the State Election Commission said on Monday that the state government has sanctioned only 50 percent of the total requisition for observers.
"We have requested for 342 observers for the three-phase Panchayat polls, but the state government has approved only 171 observers," a senior SEC official said.
A top official in the state secretariat Nabanna reasoned that the state is not in a position to spare so many officers, as administrative work will be hampered.
"Work for the ongoing programmes and schemes will be affected in the absence of officers. Moreover, the district-level officers would be there to oversee the overall poll process," the official said.
Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee who went to meet State Election Commissioner A K Singh, confronted a Left Front demonstration while coming out of the SEC office.
The Left members alleged that they had been prevented from submitting their nomination papers. Several candidates, who had failed to submit nominations in their district, reached the SEC's doorstep on Monday to lodge their protest, carrying placards bearing the slogan of 'we want to contest'.
Addressing media persons, Chatterjee said: "I welcome the Supreme Court's directive. I have informed the commissioner for holding a free and fair poll. The SEC should not succumb to Opposition's pressure and not fear anyone."

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