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EC officers asked cops to illegally detain TMC workers: Mamata

EC officers asked cops to illegally detain TMC workers: Mamata

Bolpur: Sharing WhatsApp messages allegedly exchanged between three top Election Commission (EC) officers asking police to 'illegally detain' Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers during the polling hours in the garb of preventive arrest, TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said her party would move the Supreme Court against the nexus of BJP and the EC after completion of the Assembly elections in the state.

In the same breath, she stated that despite all efforts, BJP will not be able to cross the 70 seats mark while 22 to 25 odd seats would go in favour of CPI(M) and Congress. "Even directions have been given to pick our workers from their houses on the day ahead of the seventh and eighth phases," she said.

Sharing the alleged WhatsApp conversation (in a group) between "Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of West Bengal Sudip Jain, Special Police Observer Vivek Dubey and District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police", Banerjee said: "Three persons are executing all tasks as per the directions of the BJP. Retired persons are the Observer of the Election Commission (EC). A code word - "trouble monger" - is being used to identify TMC workers and the conversation in the WhatsApp group revealed how the Observer gave instructions to the police to detain TMC workers a day ahead of the elections. Even it has been said at one place that TMC goons are not allowing BJP workers to enter a booth."

Reading out the alleged conversation "between Jain and another officer" from the printout of the screenshot of the chat that Banerjee was carrying while addressing the virtual poll campaign from Gitanjali Stadium in Bolpur, she said: "It has been directed that all Observers of phases seven and eight should collect the list of trouble monger (referring to TMC workers) identified, against whom action under Section 151 CrPC is planned (it means they have planned from the BJP office) from SP/CP concerned you will be required to explain to the Commission that you have verified... the list of P1 (the day before poll) night".

Accusing that 'preventive arrests' have been ordered to help BJP, Banerjee said she would prove with documents that the violence at Naihati, Bijpur, Kanchrapara and Jagatdal were the outcome of EC's instruction to help the saffron party. "One of our workers was picked up from his house at 4 am and was left at 4 pm on the day of the election. Similarly, our workers were illegally detained at Mongalkote, Islampore and Dum Dum," she claimed.

Stating that the incidents at Nandigram acted as an eye-opener, Banerjee urged family members of her party workers to stage sit-in-demonstration at the police station if anyone is 'illegally detained' and to immediately lodge FIRs. "Enough is enough. We have tolerated a lot in 2016. This time, I have decided to move to the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court to ensure that the EC functions impartially. Now, they are functioning as a mirror reflecting the image of BJP or better to say like a puppet of the saffron camp," she said.

Claiming that some BJP's insider gave her the WhatsApp chats and she does not need "to tap phone like the Prime Minister and Union Home minister", she took a swipe at some of the officers of the state for being biased in executing their duties. Banerjee said she was well-aware of the Observer who had directed the SP to give a hasty report to establish that a mob had attacked the CISF that prompted them to open fire.

"We will use the relevant documents in the court," she said.

She also held the EC responsible for the surge in the Covid cases in Bengal "as it scheduled eight-phase elections" in Bengal to help the BJP. "Not only Bengal but the entire country has also been pushed towards destruction in an attempt to loot Bengal. Why has the eight-phase election been announced for Bengal at the time of Covid without giving any importance to human life?" Banerjee asked, raising questions whether the EC would show cause for raising voice against them.

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