EC transfers top police officers in Bengal

Kolkata, March 17 (IANS) Two days after complaining of “laxity” on enforcing the model code of conduct in West Bengal, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday ordered the immediate transfer of 35 officials including four superintendents of police (SP) and a district magistrate.

In a communique to the state chief secretary, the EC directed the transfer with immediate effect of 35 officials, including the SPs of Burdwan, Malda, South Dinajpur and Nadia district and the DM of Hooghly district.

The other officers ordered to be transferred are 24 inspectors-in-charge and officers-in-charge across several districts and the sub divisional police officers of Bangaon (North 24 Parganas) and Kandi (Murshidabad) and the sub divisional officer of Malda Sadar (Malda).

The move comes in the wake of Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi’s “strict directions” to the election machinery on maintaining neutrality and impartiality.

On Tuesday, Zaidi had said the EC had noted some laxity in the enforcement of the model code of conduct in some areas and by some officials.

Burdwan SP Kunal Agarwal has been replaced by Gaurav Sharma, Malda SP Prasun Banerjee was replaced by Syed Waquar Reza, South Dinajpur SP Arnab Ghosh replaced by Rashid Munir Khan and Nadia SP Bhaskar Mukherjee has been replaced by Seesh Ram Jhajharia.

Hooghly DM Sanjay Bansal has been replaced by Mukta Arya.

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