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HC division bench extends ban on Saumitra Khan from entering Bankura

HC division bench extends ban on Saumitra Khan from entering Bankura

Kolkata: The division bench of Calcutta High Court has extended the ban on BJP nominee Saumitra Khan from entering Bankura, the constituency from where he is fighting the ensuing Lok Sabha election. BJP is set to move the Supreme Court against the same.

A division bench of High Court led by Justice Joymalya Bagchi has issued an order on Wednesday, barring Khan from entering Bankura for six weeks. The division bench observed that such a ban is required for a free and fair investigation, considering his political clout in the area.

Khan, who was a Trinamool Congress MP, recently left the party and joined BJP. Following his departure from Trinamool, four cases against him surfaced involving Bishnupur, Bankura, Barjora and Patrasayer police stations.

In the cases filed in Bishnupur and Patrasayer, his involvement in running an illegal sand mine has been alleged. Khan had appealed for anticipatory bail in the two cases, which was granted by the court.

In the cases filed in Barjora and Bankura police stations, it was alleged that he had taken money from the School Service Commission (SSC) candidates, assuring them jobs. The court has stayed his arrest in these two cases for six weeks. The court observed that a thorough inquiry is required into the allegation of a larger conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Thursday served a show-cause notice to BJP leader Sayantan Basu who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Basirhat, for his derogatory statement. After going through the video footages, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has issued a notice to Basu and sought an immediate clarification in this regard.

According to a senior official of the CEO's office, the commission has found his statement highly objectionable. Steps may be taken against Basu if he fails to come up with a convincing explanation.

During an election rally in Basirhat's Bhabla area on March 26, Basu had stated that he would ask the Central Force personnel to fire bullets at the chest and not at the feet of those found causing trouble during the elections. His statement had subsequently invited criticism from various quarters.

Following the incident, North 24-Parganas police on Wednesday started a suo motu case against Basu. The district Trinamool Congress leaders lodged a written complaint with the Returning Officer of the district. Basu has, however, put forward some counter allegations against the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state, saying that BJP workers have been stopped from doing poll graffiti on the walls.

The EC also issued a notice to Trinamool Congress on Thursday regarding the controversial statements of the party's president in Birbhum Anubrata Mondal.

Mondal had said that he would distribute Nakuldana among the voters and they would cast their votes in the favour of Trinamool Congress. He had further said that the Election commission, DMs and SPs also consume Nakuldana. The commission had earlier served a notice to Mondal, seeking a clarification in this regard.

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