EC team to assess West Bengal law and order

January 13th, 2011 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Election Commission (EC) Thursday decided to send a six-member team to West Bengal to “make a first-hand assessment of the situation” following an upsurge in violence in the state where assembly polls are due in May. “The team shall visit different districts of West Bengal immediately and make an on-the-spot assessment after which it will submit a report to the commission,” a release said.

“A team of five senior police officers, headed by Chief Electoral Officer, Bihar and comprising five senior police officers is being sent to West Bengal to make a first-hand assessment of the situation there,” the release added.

Saying that the “Commission has seen several media reports on the law and order situation in West Bengal”, it had therefore decided to make an “independent assessment of the law and order situation” in the state.

“Maintenance of law and order is crucial to the conduct of free and fair and peaceful elections,” the commission said.

With assembly polls just five months away, West Bengal has recently witnessed several political clashes involving the mainstream parties, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people.

The EC said that “several parties had met the commission in Delhi and during the visit of the commission to Kolkata on Jan 8 and have submitted representations to the Commission about the prevailing law and order situation in West Bengal”.

The EC is taking all “necessary measures including keeping a watch on the law and order situation” in the election-bound states - Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry, the release said.

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