Kolkata: Ruling out the opposition parties’ demand for central forces for the upcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma today said the State police was sufficient to ensure peaceful polls.
The ADG admitted that there were reports of sporadic violence in some parts of the State but said the situation was not as bad as telecast by some news channels.
Sharma claimed that outsiders were being hired from neighbouring States to spread violence ahead of the panchayat elections in the State.
“We do not need central forces for panchayat elections. The State police is (sic) sufficient to ensure elections are free and fair and conducted peacefully,” Sharma said at the State Secretariat here.
Asked about reports of violence during filing of nominations for the panchayat polls, the ADG said, “The situation is not so bad that people cannot file nominations. Overall, all parties were able to file nominations in the last two days.”
The filing of nominations for the rural polls began on 2 April and will continue till 9 April.
The ADG said 818 people were arrested from different parts of the State since Sunday and cases have been initiated against them. “The SPs have been directed to conduct raids, and some seizures were made yesterday and today.”
“We have initial reports that outsiders from neighbouring States are being hired by locals to create problems. These outsiders are entering the State from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam. We have asked the SPs to take action against these people,” Sharma said.
Directives have been sent to increase vigilance at the borders with these States, the ADG added.
So far, 1,614 nominations have been filed by the ruling Trinamool Congress, while other parties have filed 1,692 nominations in all, the ADG said.
On the recent violence in Raiganj of Uttar Dinajpur district, the ADG said officers have been asked to take requisite action. “Extra police forces have been sent to ensure a smooth polling process,” the ADG added.