Commission''s integrity should never come into question, the
Sanjukta Morcha - a three-party alliance of the Left, Congress
and the ISF - on Monday sought to know what prompted the poll
panel to support the CISF version of the Cooch Behar firing
episode as no footage of the incident is yet available.
Four persons were killed and as many injured on
Saturday in Sitalkuchi area of Cooch Behar when CISF personnel
opened fire outside a polling booth, allegedly after coming
under attack from locals who attempted to snatch their
rifles, the police had said.
The Election Commission has given a clean chit to the
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) jawans and said that
they had to open fire in self defence.
Veteran CPI(M) leader Biman Bose, who led a delegation
that met with Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab during the
day, contended that the EC''s decision was based on
"hypothetical" reports presented by the district magistrate
and the superintendent of police in Cooch Behar.
"Why is that nobody shot a video of the incident on a
cell phone? Everyone, from the mediapersons to common people,
is in possession of smart phones. The EC says the central
forces were compelled to open fire. But the report of the DM
and the SP is not clear," Bose said.
He also emphasised that the poll panel''s integrity
has always remained intact, and there should not be any scope
to raise questions now".
Bose further said that the delegation, of which senior
Congress leader Abdul Mannan was also a member, has urged the
CEO to ensure that "no one gets to escape after making
provocative speeches capable of triggering violence".
The EC should take action against BJP leader Dilip
Ghosh who warned of more Sitalkuchi-like killings in Bengal in
the next phase of assembly elections," he pointed out.
Ghosh had on Sunday courted a fresh controversy when
he said more Cooch Behar-like killings may happen in the next
phase of assembly elections if "naughty boys like the ones who
died in Sitalkuchi" try to take the law into their hands.
The CPI(M) also claimed that the EC should have taken
measures to stop campaigning in the neighbourhood of areas
where polling was underway.
"There have been instances when the prime minister and
the chief minister were seen addressing campaigns within 1-5
km radius of a constituency where polling was underway. This
can influence voters, this should immediately stop," he said.
Mannan, following his meeting with the CEO, said
"people are losing faith in the poll panel". PTI SUS