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Warning to officials on wrong reports

Sudhir Kumar Rakesh in Krishnagar. Picture by Pranab Debnath

Krishnagar, April 20: The Election Commission’s special observer for Bengal, Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, today said that any officer found guilty of submitting a “wrong” report to the poll panel would face “strict action”.

The 1983-batch IAS officer, who today began his tour of the districts to oversee poll preparedness, met Nadia district magistrate P.B. Salim and superintendent of police S.R. Mishra.

Rakesh later told journalists that he had instructed the district administration to mention the name of the investigating officer on the cover of the report to enable the poll panel identify the person “responsible for flaws”, if any.

“I have requested the DM and the SP to mention the name of the officer on whose information the report has been drawn up. If there is anything that suggests that the report is not correct, very strict action will be takenů nobody can send wrong reports to the Election Commission and get away with it. This cannot be tolerated,” Rakesh told a news conference in Krishnagar.

He added that the commission would not accept every report sent to it by the districts administration and would probe the veracity of the contents if need be.

Asked about the instruction on submitting reports, a Nadia district official said: “The initiative of the commission is to ensure free and fair polls and at the same time, warn administrative officials who often play partisan roles.”

Complaints of bias towards the ruling establishment had been made against the administrations of several districts, prompting the commission to remove one district magistrate, two additional district magistrates and four superintendents of police.

Before leaving, Rakesh said: “I am happy with the arrangements here. I have told officials to seal the border with Bangladesh before the polls.”