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CEC seeks explanation from Kolkata Police commissioner over his absence in poll review meet

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Kolkata, West Bengal, India Feb 01, 2019, 10.26 PM (IST) Written By: Pooja Mehta

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday sought an explanation from the Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar after he skipped the two-day Election Commission’s review meeting in the state.

“Kolkata Police commissioner was replaced by the special commissioner. We asked him where was he and said that he doesn’t know the whereabouts of the commissioner and added that he had been asked to attend the meet. We have sought an explanation from the controlling officer of the Police Commissioner. They will give us in writing why he skipped the meet,” said Arora, adding “Someone told me it was his birthday.”

 According to sources, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) had asked the ADG Law and Order to convey to the Kolkata Police Commissioner that he must attend the meet on the second day, however, he stayed away today too. Reacting strongly to the move of the Kolkata Police Commissioner staying away from the meeting, the CEC sought an explanation from the home secretary – the controlling officer of the police commissioner.

On being quizzed whether the present prevailing conditions in the state are conducive to hold free and fair polls, the CEC said that there is room for improvement.

Sources reveal that commission was unhappy with the police in relation to the execution of non-bailable warrants. “The Commission has directed the District Magistrates and police officers to carefully look into law and order concerns. They have been asked to ensure speedy execution of non-bailable warrants (NBWs) and speedy disposal of pending cases of the electoral offences from last elections,” added Arora.

The full bench of Election Commission of India (ECI) was on a two-day visit to Kolkata to review poll preparedness in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

On the first day of the visit, the Election Commission officials held a meeting with all the political parties in the state. The second meeting was held with all the district Superintend of Police, District Magistrate and DEOs. The third meeting was held with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and nodal officers from the Bengal Police.

On the second day, the Election Commission held meetings with the Excise department, IT department, transport department. Later in the day, the commission held a meeting with the West Bengal Chief Secretary and Director General of West Bengal Police.

Story highlights

According to sources, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) had asked the ADG Law and Order to convey to the Kolkata Police Commissioner that he must attend the meet on the second day, however, he stayed away today too.