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RSP leader arrested

Alipurduar, April 26: A secretary of the zonal committee of the RSP was arrested today after the poll observer of Madarihat lodged a complaint against him on the ground that he has flouted the election norm.

Sunil Banik, who is also the election agent of RSP candidate Kumari Kujur, has been charged with slapping posters on a building wall here. The incident took place in Madarihat constituency' an RSP stronghold'of the Alipurduar sub-division and went against the commission's directive.

This time, the election commission has directed that the walls of all buildings, whether private or government, be cleared of graffiti and posters.

Banik was arrested as the posters put up on the walls of the labour quarters of the Birpara tea garden was published in his name.

Last Sunday, Manoj Tigga, the BJP candidate from the constituency, complained to Binod Agarwal, the Madarihat observer, about the posters.

An on-the-spot inquiry revealed the presence of the posters and Agarwal lodged a complaint with the Birpara police station against Banik. On the basis of the complaint, the police arrested the RSP leader this morning and forwarded him to the court of additional chief judicial magistrate of Alipurduar. Banik was later released on bail.

Niloy Dutta, Banik's advocate, while confirming the arrest, said: 'On the basis of the complaint lodged by the election observer, the Birpara police arrested Banik this morning. He was forwarded to the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate of Alipurduar. I had filed a bail petition on his behalf and he was released in the afternoon. He was arrested only because his name was written on the posters.'

More than 100 RSP supporters had assembled on the court premises today. After Banik's release, some of them accompanied him to the RSP office at New Town where he met Rana Sen, the party's Jalpaiguri district committee secretary.

Banik later said: 'This time, we had not distributed any posters. Somebody must have pasted some earlier ones that they had. But I have assured the observer that the error will not be repeated.'

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