EC team of special observers winds up visit to WB

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Kolkata, Jan 21 (PTI) The six-member team of observers ofthe Election Commission deputed to West Bengal to make anindependent assessment of law and order in the state ahead ofthe Assembly elections today wound up its five-day visit andleft for Delhi.

The team was headed by the Chief Electoral Officer ofBihar Sudhir Kumar Rakesh and the other members were ZakiAhmed and P R K Naidu, both DIGs of the National Crime RecordsBureau, D K Pandey, ADG Jharkhand, V S Reddy, DIG AndhraPradesh and P S Rampassi, DIG Orissa.

The team toured Nadia, North and South 24-Paragans,Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore, Burdwan, Purulia andBirbhum districts after arriving here on January 15.

Besides visiting the trouble-spots like Netai village,Keshpur and Garbeta in West Midnapore, Mangolkote in Burdwanand Sashan in North 24-Parganas, the team spoke to a crosssection of people to assess the ground situation.

On January 19, Election Commission observers Sudhir KumarRakesh and Zaki Ahmed returned to Kolkata after hearinggunshots en route from Khejuri to Shunia near Nandigram inEast Midnapore district.

Police had to intervene on a number of occasions whensupporters of rival political parties almost came to blowswhile conveying their views and complaints to the team.

Terming the Election Commission''s decision to send theteam of police officers to the state as ''unprecedented'',CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told newsmen after theparty''s Politburo meeting that he would try to find out fromthe Commission the reason for sending the team.

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