53,000 arrests made in Bengal ahead of polls

April 8th, 2011 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, April 8 (IANS) Security forces have arrested over 53,000 people and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition in the past one month in an effort to ensure smooth conduct of the West Bengal assembly plls, an election official said Friday.

“Besides arresting 53,070 people with criminal records and issuing non-bailable warrants against 30,398 people, the security forces have since March 1 seized a total of 1,457 unlicensed firearms, 2,305 rounds of live cartridges, 8,619 bombs, 605 kg of explosives, 504 gelatin sticks, and 25,393 licensed firearms following numerous raids,” said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Kumar Gupta.

The seizure of arms and ammunitions was made mostly from the North and South 24-Paraganas, Howrah and Hooghly districts, he added.

“In order to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections as well as to encourage voters to exercise their right freely and without fear, we have left no stone unturned,” Gupta said.

Gupta also added that 143 incidences of violence have been reported so far in the state, leaving four people dead and 212 injured.

“The EC is also planning to hold a high level meeting with all the district magistrates and police superintendents to fine tune security measures before the polls,” said Gupta.

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