Two Election Commission personnel were assaulted today when they were videographing a motorbike rally by Trinamool Congress workers in Malda district, inviting the wrath of the EC which directed the authorities to take stern action.
Malda Superintendent of Police Rupesh Kumar said two persons, Sheikh Kalu and Bipin Bihari Mondal, were arrested in connection with the incident.
As bike rallies are prohibited during election campaign under EC rules, the poll panel had taken a serious note of the incident and asked the district administration to submit a report on the incident by evening, EC director Dhirendra Ojha said in New Delhi when contacted.
Following this, the DM and District Election Officer Sharad Kumar Dwivedi lodged FIRs on the basis of which the arrests were made, the SP said.
Two FIRs have been lodged under various IPC sections like 186 (obstructing public servants in discharging public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharging their duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from their duty), 182 (false information with intent to cause public servant to use their lawful power to the injury of other person).
OSD in CEO's office Amit Roy Chowdhury said the EC's directive was immediately conveyed to the DM who already submitted a preliminary report to the CEO.
The preliminary report said that two EC personnel were taking the video footage of the rally when it approached Khayertala of Manikchak when some people from the crowd manhandled them.
"As soon as the final report on the incident reaches us, we shall send it to the Election Commission in Delhi," Roy Chowdhury said.
Asked if the EC was taking any step against the offenders, he said, "The entire issue is under active consideration of the Election Commission."
In a recent meeting attended by Deputy EC Vinod Zutshi, poll officials from West Bengal had expressed fear of violence targetted against them during the elections.
Their apprehension was expressed during a meeting of Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and other top EC officials with the state authorities in Kolkata last week.
Trinamool Congress workers had burnt an effigy of Zutshi yesterday near the state secretariat yesterday.
At least 12 TMC workers were involved in the act, Howrah Police Commissionerate sources said, but there was no arrest.