Section 144 imposed in areas situated within 200 metres of polling booths in Bhabanipur

KOLKATA: Two days before the Bhabanipur bypolls, the prohibitory order banning movement of five or more people under Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in the areas that are situated within 200 metres of the polling booths. There will be webcasting in all the polling stations on the day of the by-election, which is scheduled on September 30.

About 15 companies of Central forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful by-election in Bhabanipur. Soumen Mitra, Commissioner of Kolkata Police held a high-level meeting to ensure smooth and peaceful by-election. All senior police officials along with the Assistant Commissioner of Police and Officers- in charge of different police stations attended the meeting. On October 3, the counting will be held at Sakhawat Memorial School. There will be 21 rounds of counting. Twenty four Central force personnel will be deployed at the counting stations. The returning officers will visit the counting centres daily till the counting is over.

To make the arrangement foolproof, three-layer security arrangements have been made. The first layer will be manned by the state police, while the second and the third layers will be manned by the state and Central police and the Central forces respectively. The observers and the returning officer can use mobile phones. The counting will start at 8am and is likely to be over by 2pm. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers, who would be deployed at the polling stations in Bhabanipur, have been asked not to leave the area till the official work is over and the electronic voting machines are sent to the strong room.

All those to be deployed at the polling stations have already been administered with both Covid vaccine doses. Five party workers are required to be deployed at the polling stations. They are an election agent, a polling agent, their relievers and one stand by party worker. There are 287 booths in Bhabanipur, of which the number of main booths will be 269.

There are another 18 auxiliary booths. The total number of voters in Bhabanipur is 20,64,56. Of these voters, 111243 are male and 95, 209 are women. By-election in Bhabanipur Assembly became necessary after Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Trinamool Congress MLA from the area resigned. Trinamool has fielded Mamata Banerjee while BJP and CPI(M) have nominated Priyanka Tibrewal and Srijib Biswas respectively.

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