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Poll panel transfers top cops

New Delhi, Dec. 6: After directing the Gujarat government to clamp down on the VHP’s proposed rally to commemorate the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Election Commission has issued a communiqué, ordering the immediate transfer of two senior police officers.

The commission said superintendents of police N.D. Solanki and A.K. Sharma, of Sabarkantha and Mehsana, respectively, should be immediately shifted as their presence would “not be conducive to conduct free and fair elections in the state”.

The commission’s letter addressed to the Gujarat chief secretary says: “These officials should be transferred forthwith and replaced by suitable officers.”

The letter adds these officials should not be given any election-related work, including maintenance of law and order — a clear indictment on their conduct.

The state government has been advised to send a panel of suitable direct-recruit police officers to the commission by tomorrow evening. The poll panel has been keeping a close watch on the developments in Gujarat to ensure trouble-free polls.

The commission has also banned religious rallies in Gujarat, forcing the Hindutva brigade to give up its Vijay Yatra, scheduled to start from Godhra and end at Akshardham — the temple that was recently stormed by militants.

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