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EC mulls action against cops looking after Mamata's security

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
March 12, 2021 17:38 IST
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The Election Commission of India (ECI) might punish police personnel in charge of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's security for a lapse leading to her injury during campaigning in Nandigram in Purba Medinipur district, a senior election official said on Friday.

 

IMAGE: Trinamool Congress supporters pray for the speedy recovery of party chief and West Bengal CM Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, outside SSKM hospital, in Kolkata, on Thursday. Photograph: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI Photo

The ECI is waiting for reports from the state government and the two observers appointed for the upcoming assembly elections before deciding on the punishment, he said.

"There was definitely a lapse on the part of the police personnel who were in charge of the chief minister's security. Anyone shouldn't penetrate the security circle around the CM. We are waiting for reports from the state government and the observers before taking a decision," the ECI official told PTI.

In video grabs accessed by the ECI, it was found that several people got very close to the CM's vehicle during her campaigning in Nandigram's Birulia Bazar on Wednesday, he said.

"This should not have happened. In the video grabs that we have gone through, several people could be seen coming very close to the CM's vehicle. It was a serious security breach," he said.

The election official, however, said that the video footages were 'not very clear to give a proper picture whether Banerjee was attacked as alleged by her'.

"We are waiting for the reports from the state government and the two observers. We cannot disclose our opinion in this context," he said.

Banerjee has a 'Z category' security, with over 20 personnel including the elite SSW, IB, responsible for guarding her.

Meanwhile, officials of the Purba Medinipur district administration have spoken to several eyewitnesses of the incident, collected evidence from the site and gathered mobile phone footages, a senior official said.

"As of now, we are getting various versions from the people about the incident," he said.

A senior state government official dismissed a buzz about the district administration submitting a 'preliminary report' calling the incident an 'accident'.

"Nothing of that sort has been submitted to us. We don't know from where this theory has developed," he said.

Banerjee had fallen down and sustained injuries on her left leg and waist after she was allegedly pushed by unidentified people while she was campaigning in Nandigram assembly segment on Wednesday evening after filing her nomination from the constituency.

She was rushed to the state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata, where she is now undergoing treatment.

A first information report has been lodged with the Nandigram police station though nobody has been arrested so far.

The chief minister will contest her former aide and present Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Suvendu Adhikari in his home turf.

Elections to the 294-member assembly will be held from March 27 to April 29. Results will be declared on May 2.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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