Mamata threatens police for prohibitory orders, locking clubs and party offices

Kolkata, May 1 (IANS) Issuing a virtual threat to police, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said those who declared prohibitory orders throughout districts during the assembly polls in the state and locked local clubs and party offices will have to suffer in the coming days.

Addressing election meetings in East Midnapore district, Banerjee said that she had never in past seen “so much atrocities being perpetrated during the polls”.

Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress chief, alleged that some “broker police from Delhi” along with a section of local police personnel had locked her party offices.

Alleging a nexus among the Congress, the Communist Party of India Marxist and the Bharatiya Janata Party, Banerjee said “the central police were used to aid the nexus”.

“Some coward police personnel in the state were also used. ..”.

Banerjee, who also holds the home (police) portfolio, alleged police created pandemonium in various localities and warned that she had record of all those who planned such strategies.

“I never allowed the police to create mayhem. But those who have done this, I have record of all the pandemonium.

“If I am alive, I will reply to all this. Those who have planned this, wherever they have done this, enough is enough. It’s fair enough. If anybody tries to take me on, they get demolished, please remember,” she said.

Banerjee said in her Kalighat area in south Kolkata, an important club which has been there since the pre-independence days, was put under lock and key. “Party offices were also locked,” she alleged.

Lashing out against police for imposing prohibitory orders throughout districts on the polling day, Banerjee said the microphone announcements were made the entire night.

“As if there were clashes in the locality, and curfew has been clamped. They issued prohibitory orders under section 144.

“They were so afraid that they declared section 144 throughout the district. Those who have done this will have to suffer in the coming days, mark my words.”

The chief minister’s ire stems from the strict measures taken by the central and state police and the administration ahead of the third, fourth and fifth phases of the polls on April 21, 25 and 30 after receiving a litany of complaints from the opposition parties.

Apart from the prohibitory orders, to prevent illegal assembly, local toughs who could have indulged in electoral malpractices were identified and kept under close watch. All under-construction buildings, local clubs were searched, crude bombs unearthed and a massive deployment of police and central forces were made on the polling day. There was presence of large number of quick response teams and mobile patrol units.

Also, the Election Commission removed a large number of key administration and police officers who were allegedly close to the ruling party and gave responsibility to other officers.

Banerjee seemed to be particularly upset with new city Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra, whose role in maintaining the law and order and ensuring neutrality of police on the two polling days in the city (on April 21 and 30) have earned praise from the opposition and the civil society.



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