Bengal panchayat polls: Provide adequate security, SC to government

SCThe election body has contended that it was not possible to hold violence-free polls in the prevailing circumstances.PTI

The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre and the West Bengal government seeking their response on how to meet the requirement of security personnel for conduct of panchayat elections in the state. A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Ranjan Gogoi passed the order on a petition by the State Election Commission for a direction to the government to provide adequate security personnel for the conduct of the polls scheduled for July 2.

The election body contended that it was not possible to hold violence-free polls in the prevailing circumstances as enough security personnel were not available. Advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the election commission, contended that the poll body was ready to hold the elections in more phases but security forces must be provided to it and even pleaded that the elections can be put off for some time.

She contended that the commission needed around 2,41,000 security personnel out of which 1,40,000 should be armed and rest unarmed. The state government submitted that it wanted the elections to be held at any cost and said that the matter is being heard by the Calcutta High Court.

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