EC imposes prohibitory orders in Nandigram ahead of polling
Ahead of the high-stake elections in Nandigram, the Election Commission on Wednesday imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in Nandigram assembly constituency in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur District, a senior official said. "The EC has also started air surveillance in the area with the help of a helicopter," the official added. Here are more details.
Orders will remain in place till Friday midnight
"Nandigram is a sensitive constituency with high-profile candidates like Mamata Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikary. We want to ensure that the law and order situation is not compromised and people can vote freely without fear," the official said. "That is the reason for imposing the prohibitory orders, which will be in place till Friday midnight," he added.
Non-residents barred from entering the constituency
The official said, "A person who is not a voter of Nandigram will not be allowed to enter the area till the polling is over. The order prohibits the assembly of five or more persons, besides imposing other restrictions."
22 companies of central forces have been deployed
"Twenty-two companies of central forces are being deployed in the constituency, which has a total of 355 polling booths and 75 percent of them will have a web-casting facility," the official said. "Central forces along with the state police have already started Naka checkings at crucial junctions in the area," he added.
Outside vehicles not being allowed to enter Nandigram
"Vehicles are being thoroughly checked before being allowed to enter Nandigram. No outside vehicles are being allowed in," the official said, adding that anybody found trying to create a disturbance will be handled strictly.
EC has asked local authorities to execute all pending arrests
"The EC has decided to deploy a 22-personnel quick response team (QRT) in the area on the Election Day, and has constituted a team that will supervise the proceedings in Nandigram on the poll day," the official said. The local authorities were asked by the EC to execute all pending arrest warrants by Wednesday night and take people, accused in various cases, into custody.
People are hoping for a peaceful polling
Nandigram wore a deserted look during the day with only a few shops open. Vehicles such as e-rickshaws and autos were mostly unavailable with people choosing to stay indoors. "We want peaceful polling and no disturbance here on April 1. People should get a peaceful environment so that they can cast their votes without any fear," a resident of Sonachura said.
West Bengal assembly elections being held in eight phases
The fiery West Bengal elections are being held in 288 constituencies in eight phases: March 27, April 1, April 6, April 17, April 22, April 26, and April 29. The first phase of polling was held on March 27 in 30 assembly constituencies The second phase of the polls will be held on April 1, in 30 constituencies.