The incident in Bengal’s Nandigram in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was injured was an accident and not a planned attack, according to the report of two poll observers submitted before the Election Commission (EC) on Saturday.
The incident which took place at Birulia bazar in Nandigram in East Midnapore district on March 10 after Ms Banerjee filed her nomination had taken place “suddenly” though a “conspiracy theory” was spoken about, the report prepared by special observer Ajay Nayak and special police observer Vivek Dubey to West Bengal for the state election stated, a source at the Chief Electoral Officer’s office said.
The report also said Mamata Banerjee was injured due to the suddenness of the incident.
“The incident was not a planned attack but an accident. It had taken place suddenly”, the source said quoting the report.
About the injury to Ms Banerjee, who is the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, in the incident, the report said that “the suddenness of the incident” led to it. “There was no conspiracy behind the incident.”
The report took into account the details provided by eye witnesses present during the incident as well as the video grabs collected from them.
It also referred to the failure of the police personnel in-charge of the chief minister’s security detail in controlling the crowd which came “too close” to her.
“The local police and Chief Minister’s security failed to control the crowd and that led to the untoward situation,” the source said referring to the report.
Following the Nandigram incident, state Additional Director General (ADG) of police (Law and Order) and nodal officer Jagmohan on Saturday directed all district administrations to arrange for strictest security measures for the chief minister during her campaign tours in the districts for the eight-phase poll beginning on March 27.
“Security measures should be stringent for the Chief Minister. Security for other star campaigners must be tightened. We cannot take any chances after the Nandigram incident,” the source at the CEO office said, quoting Jagmohan.
According to another official at the office of the CEO, the two observers may visit South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly districts starting March 18.
“The two observers will meet senior officials of the district administrations and supervise the poll preparedness,” he said.
Meanwhile, state chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay in a reply to the EC for a detailed report stated that the cause of the incident at Nandigram was “not clear from the video grab” collected from the place.
A second report was submitted on Saturday evening after the EC called the one submitted on Friday by the state administration “sketchy” and asked the state administration to furnish a detailed one.
“The chief minister’s vehicle was passing through a crowded area when there was a push to the door of her car. But it’s not clear whether the push was deliberate or not. The video grabs collected are not very clear,” a source at the CEO said quoting Mr Bandopadhyay’s second report.
The chief secretary was learnt to have attached one video grab along with the report, he added.
The EC had sought reports from the state government as well as the two observers on the incident. The state administration had submitted its report on Friday.
Election to the 294 assembly seats in West Bengal will be held between March 27 and April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)