ACTA demands probe into assault on poll officers

SILCHAR, April 10: Behind the much hyped peaceful elections in Barak Valley, chaos and anarchy in certain booths went unnoticed by the Election Commission, deliberate or inadvertent. In the 38 polling booths of 53 Manikpur Lower Primary School in Borkhola constituency, the supporters of a political party had been involved in blatant rigging, overriding the presence and objections of the presiding and polling officers on April 4, the first phase of elections in the valley. Recounting their horrible experiences, Samar Deb, lecturer of Guru Charan College, presiding officer, I Ananda Singh, assistant teacher of MK High School, Kazidahar, and Hari Mohan Das, teacher of CR ME School, Hazarigram, polling officers, said at a press meet on Saturday that the polling booths in question from the very moment of election process wentunder the control of goons and they were subjected to physical and mentalharassment and even assault.
They in identical manner were critical of the passive role of the zonal officer, police sector officer, civil sector officerand micro observer. It was in flagrant violation of the code of conduct that the anti social elements went to the extent of assaulting them inside the polling station. On their objections, the goons, besides subjecting them to heckling and physically hurting them, threatened them with dire consequences, the presiding and polling officers alleged.
Samar Deb, Ananda Singh and Hari Mohan Das narrated their nightmare of the day when the anti social elements even took control of EVMs. Inthe midst of total chaos and confusion,their attempts to get security cover failed. All these unfortunate but serious incidents took place, as they pointed out, before the sector officer. They were highly critical of the role ofmicro observer. In the name of security for the booth, they alleged baton wielding police men were deployed, making a mockery of the whole poll exercise of the Election Commission.
Amalendu Chakraborty, president of Assam College Teachers' Association (ACTA), Cachar zone, demanded judicial inquiry into the incident in order to unravel the various hiccups and lacunae in the official management in respect of conducting peaceful polls and to apportion responsibility on the officers concerned entrusted with the task. He cautioned if proper and adequate security was not provided in future, the ACTA might take the extreme step to keep teaching staff away from poll duty. This was also the view expressed by other members of the Association who included Manoj Paul, Chaya Kundu, Chandan Paul Choudhury and Apratim Nag. (SentinelAssam)

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