The West Bengal government has written to the Election Commission requesting it to review its decision of not including a local officer with the quick response teams (QRTs) for the final phase of the general elections, officials said Tuesday.
State home secretary Atri Bhattacharya wrote to West Bengal chief electoral officer Aariz Aftab on Monday stressing the need of having a local police officer with the QRTs which comprise of central forces personnel.
He alleged that in some instances QRTs fail to reach the spot where there is trouble more than an hour after the message is sent to them.
"This was because they did not have knowledge of the locality. I would therefore, request that the decision for not having a local officer in-charge of QRTs be re-examined," Bhattacharya wrote to the CEO.
Referring to incidents of firing by the CAPF during the May 12 polls at Gopiballavpur, Bishnupur, Moyna, Sabong and Bhagawanpur and lathicharging of voters, the letter said "I would also most earnestly request that the CAPF officers and personnel be sensitised to the needs of the voters exercising their franchise, which would reduce the preceived need to resort to physical force against them."
Bhattacharya also referred to incidents of the CAPF opening fire during the fourth phase pollings in Panrui and Dubrajpur of Birbhum district and assaulting general people at Thanapara and Haringhata in Nadia district, besides the beating up sitting MP Prasun Banerjee in Howrah during the fifth phase of elections.
He also mentioned the CAPF carried arms while entering booths in contravention of the model code of conduct.
Incidentally, the Election Commission has lodged FIRs in connection with central forces personnel opening fire during the sixth phase of elections in Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency injuring one person.
West Bengal has witnessed incidents of sporadic violence during almost all the six phases of polling in the state despite the EC increasing deployment of central forces at almost 100 per cent of polling stations.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)