Kolkata: Amid violence that marked the single-phase panchayat election in West Bengal, questions had been raised relating to the deployment of the Central Armed Police Power (CAPF) in delicate zones within the state, at the same time as political events engaged in a blame sport. The Border Safety Power (BSF) has alleged that the State Election Fee (SEC) failed to offer details about the delicate cubicles the place CAPF presence was required. Nonetheless, the SEC has refuted these claims.
Chatting with ThePrint, BSF Deputy Inspector Basic (DIG), S.S. Guleria, PRO, Jap Command, stated, “We had written a number of letters since 5 July, searching for particulars of the delicate cubicles, however we obtained no reply.”
Guleria added that the reported deaths that occurred Saturday on the polling cubicles weren’t below the CAPF’s cowl.
“We carried out the polls easily wherever our troops had been deployed, however the deaths occurred on the cubicles the place there was no CAPF presence,” stated Guleria.
Refuting Guleria’s allegations, State Election Commissioner, Rajiva Sinha advised ThePrint, that the data relating to delicate cubicles was certainly supplied to the district Justice of the Peace/superintendent of police.
“We now have recorded our communication with IG BSF. They’ve additionally confirmed it,” he stated.
Nonetheless, he didn’t give any official determine on the variety of deaths reported Saturday and stated “police affirmation report was awaited.” This response comes 19 hours after the polling ended Saturday.
When ThePrint requested for a clarification on SEC refuting the allegations, Guleria stated the SEC’s declare of offering particulars of delicate cubicles was “false”.
The polling day in West Bengal noticed violence, deaths, intimidation and poll field tampering in lots of districts, regardless of the presence of central drive personnel. With greater than 10 folks reportedly killed in clashes and assaults, the SEC has not but launched the official information on the casualties.
The violence erupted regardless of the Calcutta Excessive Courtroom’s order final month, directing the SEC to hunt 822 firms of CAPF to make sure honest and peaceable polls. The state has a historical past of violent elections, as seen within the 2018 panchayat polls and the 2021 meeting polls.
In line with unofficial media reviews, not less than 12 folks had been killed Saturday throughout West Bengal. Nonetheless, the SEC had earlier claimed that solely 5 deaths had taken place within the pre-poll violence.
The panchayat polls had been held throughout 3,317 gram panchayat seats, 928 zilla parishad seats, 9,730 panchayat samiti seats in 61,363 polling cubicles. About 5.5 crore voters had been eligible to vote.
Additionally Learn: Events start blame sport as violence takes centre stage in West Bengal panchayat polls
As the difficulty of deployment of the CAPF heated up within the state, Trinamool Congress (TMC) minister Shashi Panja, whereas addressing a information convention Saturday in Kolkata, raised questions on the central drive’s absence on the bottom and stated “60% of the casualties belonged to the TMC.”
The Congress MP and West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, whereas talking to ThePrint, alleged that the ruling TMC led by Mamata Banerjee and Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) on the Centre had a tacit understanding over the deployment of central forces.
“Nothing else explains the absence of CAPF on the bottom on the polling day. The state BJP ought to elevate this with their counterparts in Delhi and protest right here,” stated Chowdhury, who’s at the moment in Murshidabad taking inventory of the violence on the bottom.
Dilip Ghosh, BJP nationwide vice-president, alleged that forces had been despatched, however the TMC-led state authorities didn’t utilise them adequately.
“In Purba Medinipur, I didn’t see any central drive within the cubicles. In the event that they had been there, violence wouldn’t have taken place. I noticed central drive jawans marching on the freeway, they did what was instructed to them by the state administration,” Ghosh advised ThePrint.
In the meantime, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh countered Ghosh’s claims and stated central forces come below the BJP-led central authorities, which had didn’t ship within the troops on time.
“Until the day of polling, the troops had been nonetheless coming in. Why did the central authorities fail to ship forces on time? And claims of peace below the central drive being made by the BJP is a joke,” he advised ThePrint.
Highlighting the 2021 state election, Kunal Ghosh alleged that the CAPF opened hearth and killed voters in Bengal’s Cooch Behar. “See what is occurring in Manipur the place CAPF is deployed. BJP shouldn’t talk about violence,” he advised ThePrint.
In the meantime, extra troops are anticipated to come back in and keep on until 10 days after the outcomes are declared on 11 July, based on the Calcutta Excessive Courtroom order final Monday, Guleria advised ThePrint.
In line with him, 649 firms of central drive had arrived within the state by 11 am on polling day. By 6 pm on Saturday, after polling had ended, that quantity rose to 681. On Sunday morning, a complete of 689 firms had been deployed in West Bengal, which was 133 firms lower than the whole quantity requested from the Ministry of Residence Affairs.
(Edited by Richa Mishra)
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