The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 25 , 2014
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Police observers for nine seats


Calcutta, March 24: The Election Commission has drawn a list of eight IPS officers from across the country who would monitor law and order in nine sensitive constituencies during the Lok Sabha polls in Bengal.

Sources said the officers, who would be answerable only to the commission, would oversee policing from April 5.

The officers who would be sent for monitoring law and order in the nine constituencies are Indu Kumar Bhushan (Murshidabad), Arpit Shukla (Bongaon), A.K. Singh (Joynagar), Niket Kaushik (Midnapore), C.V. Anand (Purulia), L.C. Bhartia (Bankura), P.S. Ranpise (Burdwan East and Burdwan-Durgapur) and A. Natarajan (Birbhum).

Sources said the commission took the decision to send IPS officers from other states after testing the model in various Assembly polls. Such officers would be deployed across the country.

The police observers, according to a commission official, will be “the supreme bosses of policing, answerable only to the commission”. They will monitor all activities related to deployment of forces, law and order and liaison with the civil administration.

“A number of complaints are lodged against the police administration and its role during every major election. The police are often found to be mute spectators in situations that demand active intervention. That is what we will try to check through such observers,” the official added.

Sources said the commission might send more observers for some other Bengal constituencies, but for now, they added, the nine constituencies are being treated as “top priority” on account of history of violence.