A former CPM councillor has complained to police that Trinamul activists had painted poll graphiti on the wall of her house in Kasba without her consent and threatened her when she protested.
Annapurna Das’s complaint is possibly the first graffiti-related one the police have received this election season.
Das said she had protested on seeing some Trinamul supporters paint graffiti on the wall of her house at 4/11/1A Johura Bazar Lane on Monday night. “They threatened me instead and dared me to do whatever I could…. I have reported the matter to Kasba police station,” Das told Metro on Wednesday evening.
A case under IPC Section 506 (criminal intimidation) has been started.
Q: What are the rules regarding election graffiti?
A: Any public property is off-limits. Graffiti is allowed on private property, but with the owner’s consent.
Q: What to do if a party approaches you seeking permission for poll graffiti?
A: You are free to say no. If you say yes, the party will give you a formatted consent letter to sign. The party will have to send a letter to the Election Commission. Graffiti can be painted three days after the consent. If you want to withdraw the consent, you can approach the police or poll panel.
Q: What to do if a party threatens you for saying ‘no’ to its graffiti plea?
A: Report the matter to police/ call the poll panel’s helpline (1950, from 10.30am to 5.30pm, from any phone)/ mail your complaint to
Q: Action against offenders?
A: If a party threatens you, police can start a case under IPC. For defacement of wall, a case can be started under the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (second amendment) Act, 2006, or the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Q: What is the poll panel’s role in the matter?
A: A team is assigned for each constituency to look for any violation of the model code of conduct. Violation of the graffiti rules falls under the same category. The maximum punishment for violating the model code is six months in jail and/or a fine of Rs 50,000.