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EC suspends SP, shunts DM for ‘lapses’ leading to Didi’s injury | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Sunday ordered the removal of Vivek Sahay, West Bengal director security, the suspension of Purba Medinipur SP Pravin Prakash while transferring district magistrate Vibhu Goel for poor police bandobast last week when CM Mamata Banerjee received injuries during campaigning in Nandigram.
The EC acted on reports of the incident received from the West Bengal chief secretary and its own special poll observers that pointed to non-adherence of laid-down security protocols for Banerjee, a ‘Z-plus protectee’.
The EC has asked charges to be framed against Prakash for “major failure of bandobast” and has also taken a serious view of Sahay “grossly failing in discharge of his primary duty to protect” the CM. In fact, Sahay was found sitting in the bulletproof vehicle for the CM in the convoy when she sustained her injury.
The reports with the EC noted there were no significant pointers to suggest a premeditated or planned attack on the CM. Its special observers Ajay V Nayak and Vivek Dube cited the Nandigram returning officer’s inputs that made no mention of any attack on the convoy or person of the CM. They said as an investigation was ongoing, would be premature to come to any further conclusions regarding the incident.
The EC asked the chief secretary, in consultation with the DGP, to post a suitable successor to Sahay against whom charges are to be framed in a week.
Smita Pandey will be the new DM and Sunil Kumar Yadav the police chief of Purba Medinipur.
The observers said there was lack of coordination between security arrangements by the police headquarters and the local SP due to frequent changes to the chief minister’s tour programme, no approval was taken from the returning officer for the place where the incident happened and that there was blatant disregard of security protocols.
Chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, in his report to the EC, said the presence of police force at the incident spot was not adequate given the stature of the protectee and deployment of additional police personnel could have averted the incident. He, however, maintained that all Z-plus protocols were followed. The officer also pointed to the lack of overall coordination between the directorate of security and the local/district police for the chief minister’s visit in the countryside.
While underlining that the district administration had overall responsibility for providing foolproof security arrangements for Banerjee’s visit, the special observers said the district police were required to provide a strong route bandobast for the VVIP’s travel, especially when they posted a contingent of 18 police personnel at the nearby temple for the CM’s expected visit.
Among other decisions was the constitution of a committee of the chief secretary and the DGP to identify within three days the other proximate security personnel below director security, “who failed in their duties to prevent the incident and protect the Z+ protectee VVIP and take suitable action”.
The chief secretary was asked by the poll panel to ensure that investigation of the police case relating to the Nandigram incident was completed and action taken as per law in the next 15 days. It sought a report by March 31.
The EC also wrote to all chief electoral officers reiterating its instructions seeking strict compliance of security protocols by ‘star campaigners’ as per their category of protection.
Meanwhile, the EC appointed ex-IPS officer and former DGP (Intelligence) of Punjab Anil Kumar Sharma as the second special police observer in West Bengal



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