Hindusthan Samachar
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Election officials in Coochbehar demand protection by central forces only

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Apr 5 2019 8:56PM
Election officials in Coochbehar demand protection by central forces only
Coochbehar/Kolkata, 5 April (HS): After Raigunj a few days ago, today it was turn of Coochbehar Parliamentary constituency where perhaps for the first time in the country''s electoral history, a section of election officials refused to participate in the coming election in absence of the deployment of central forces in all voting centres as this North Bengal district is going to the polls on 11 April. Informing this office of the State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) here today informed Hindusthan Samachar that more than 600 government employees in Coochbehar dsitrict who were to take part in the election programme next week today made it clear that since they were apprehending large scale violence both before and during the elections in the district, they would participate in the poll processes if only their security was ensured through the deployment of central para military forces. They also made it clear that they had no faith that the state police would be able to ensure their total security as they had allegedly failed miserably during the last Panchayat elections when one of their colleagues - Raj kumar Roy - was found dead at Itahar in North Dinajpur district under mysterious circumstances. Accordingly, they said unless the Central forces were deployed to protect them, they would refuse to participate in any election related activities, the CEO''s office informed. Though the CEO Ariz Aftab or any other senior officer at the Commission did not make any comment on the sensitive issue, it was stated that in view of the seriousness of the demand of these election officials,the matter was referred to the Chief Election Commissioner''s office in New Delhi for an immediate solution to the impasse. The issue had also been referred to the Special Police Observer in West Bengal Vivek Dube for his comment and subsequent action. Dube has recently remarked that despite the demand of the Opposition,all the 77,000 odd polling booths in the state might not be declared as ''Sensitive'' or ''Super Sensitive'' keeping in mind the present law and order situation in Bengal. Now it remains to be seen how the EC would handle such tricky situation,which perhaps for the first time has occurred anywhere in the country. It has also generated huge concern among the electorate following the apprehension of large scale violence during the elections in Bengal.About 29 companies of Central forces are likely to be deployed in both Coochbehar and Alipurduar constituencies before 11 April votes. Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur/Pramod \
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