Election Commission transfers Gujarat police chief

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Ahmedabad, Oct 15: The Election Commission (EC) today ordered the transfer of Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) P C Pande, who was Ahmedabad Police Commissioner during the 2002 post-Godhra riots, ahead of the State Assembly elections scheduled to be held in December.

Seven other senior officials have also been transferred. The EC directed that none of the eight would be posted at any election-related work.

Pande had come under a cloud over the 2002 communal violence. The 1970-batch IPS officer is said to be close to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The EC has sought from the State government a panel of three "suitable officers" by Tuesday evening to choose the new DGP.

The EC also ordered transfer of Ahmedabad Police Commissioner J Mahapatra, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Border Range) I M Desai, Superintendent of Police (Patan) J N Rajgor, SP (Rajkot) N D Solanki and SP (Tapi) S K Gadhavi.

Collector of Valsad D H Brahmbhatt and Collector of Gandhinagar Sonal Mishra were also transfered.

Meanwhile, the EC is conducting 'vulnerability mapping' of areas and persons in all the 182 Assembly constituencies in Gujarat for polls to be held on December 11 and December 16.

"Under this process we will also identify persons or groups who could cause hurdles during the elections," said Dhananjay Dwivedi, District Election Officer and Ahmedabad Collector.

He said among the 4,461 polling booths in Ahmedabad District, 1,518 had been declared sensitive and 322 as hyper-sensitive. The EC has identified 20,800 duplicate voters in the election list in Ahmedabad District, said Dwivedi.


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