Mamata, Salim face action for defacing walls

March 25th, 2009 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 25 (IANS) Four political heavyweights in West Bengal, including Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP Mohammed Salim, have been booked for allegedly defacing walls in their constituencies without consent from landlords of the buildings.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay and CPI-M candidate Rabin Deb have also been accused of violating the election code of conduct under Section 202 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, 1980.

While Deb is taking on Banerjee in Kolkata (south), Salim is being challenged by Bandopadhyay in Kolkata (north). Salim is deputy leader of the CPI-M in the outgoing Lok Sabha

“These four candidates have been booked under Section 202 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, 1980. The police have acted upon a directive from the Election Commission to monitor whether the model code of conduct is beign adhered to,” state chief election officer Debashis Sen told IANS.

He said the Election Commission had organised a meeting with the city civic authority and the police asking them to monitor the activities of the political parties and the candidates.

“The law enforcers have moved against these high profile leaders for graffiti violation and now the law will take its own course,” Sen said.

According to official sources, the graffiti law has been breached on Taratala Road and Hyde Road in Kolkata (south) constituency. In Kolkata (north) constituency, the areas are Strand Road, B.K. Pal Avenue, Manicktala and Narkeldanga.

“So far, 15 cases have been registered against political parties for defacing walls of government buildings and private properties,” an official said.

Wall graffiti is banned on government buildings, while the permission of the landlord has to be taken before using walls of private buildings.

Asked about the punishment for violating Election Commission directives, the official said: “If these leaders are found guilty, they can be jailed for six months or fined up to Rs.50,000.”

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has launched a helpline to lodge graffiti complaints anonymously.

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