Kolkata, Feb 12 (IANS) Members of the high-level Election Commission team touring poll-bound West Bengal Saturday made a door-to-door survey to verify the list of people forced to stay away from home due to political violence, said senior state official.
Three members of the team divided in two groups, visited trouble-torn areas of Howrah and East Midnapore districts.
Bihar’s chief electoral officer Sudhir Rakesh visited Howrah and held a meeting with the district magistrate and superintendent of police and later met representatives of the political parties. The political leaders submitted depositions about the trouble-torn areas of the district and accused each other for carrying out atrocities and violence in the areas.
Kumar along with the district magistrate and superintendent of police visited Amta and Udaynagar and spoke with the locals and even went into houses of some of the political activists, who claim to have left the area due to political violence, said a senior government official.
The other team comprising Orissa’s Deputy Inspector General (Special Auxiliary Police) P.S. Ranpise and Andhra Pradesh’s Inspector General (Criminal Investigation Department) Jitendra Prasad toured several areas of Nandigram in East Midnapore district.
Nandigram is witnessing widespread violence since January 2007 when the region erupted in protest over proposed land acquisition for a special economic zone (SEZ).
Since then, a turf battle between the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which leads the state’s ruling Left Front, and the anti-acquisition of farmland supporters backed by the main opposition Trinamool Congress has led to repeated violence in the region.
The observers reached district headquarter Tamluk Friday night and held meeting with officials and went to Haldia.
They met administrative officials and police officers at Haldia Saturday morning.
The CPI-M and Trinamool supporters were at loggerheads while meeting with the observers.
CPI-M delegation lead by former Member of Parliament from Haldia Lakhan Seth were surrounded by the Trinamool supporters and supporters of both parties indulged in a clash in front of the observers. Police however, managed to separate the warring groups.
Representatives of both parties handed over the lists mentioning the names of their party supporters who were forced to flee homes because of atrocities carried out by their opponents.
Later, the observers went to troubled areas in Nandigram-I and II blocks and made a door-to-door survey to verify whether the allegations leveled by the political parties were correct or not.