CEO's office calls for probe to clear air on 'intimidation of voters' by Central Forces

Kolkata: The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has asked the District Election Officer (DEO) North Kolkata, Dibyendu Sarkar, to conduct a probe to know if Central Force personnel are intimidating the voters.

The move has been taken up after Trinamool Congress leaders lodged a complaint with the commission, alleging that some Central Force personnel were trying to intimidate voters. It has been learnt from the CEO's office that Sarkar will ascertain if any such incidents happened. He would file a report to the commission in this regard.

According to a senior election official, the allegation against the Central Forces has been looked into with utmost sincerity, like any other complaint. It was alleged that Central Force jawans had talked to many people in the Ultadanga area. TMC has alleged that this type of activity might create fear among the voters. It may be mentioned that some senior Trinamool Congress officials on Monday met an election official at the CEO's office, alleging high-handedness by some Central Force personnel. They told the commission that a television channel has showed how a Central Force personnel engaged in a conversation with a woman, allegedly giving her some instructions.

Meanwhile, mock drills of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) were conducted in various districts on Tuesday. Demonstrations were conducted at various places in the city to ascertain that the EVM and VVPAT machines were functioning correctly.

It has been learnt from sources in the CEO's office that police observers may arrive in the state next week. The police observers will be assigned in various districts across the state for keeping a tab on the election procedures.

It may be mentioned that seven expenditure observers have already been deployed by the commission for the first two phases of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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