CEC satisfied but will deploy police observers

The Election Commission, which expressed satisfaction with the compliance of the model code of conduct and recovery of illegal arms on Wednesday, said it will deploy police observers in addition to general observers to oversee law and order during the Assembly polls.

Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, who is on a two-day tour of the state to asses poll preparedness, said 13 police observers above the rank of DIG would be deployed in sensitive districts along with 182 general observers.

The full bench of the EC today met district election officers, SPs, divisional commissioners, range DIGs and zonal IGs as well as the chief secretary of the state.

Quraishi said he had asked all bureaucrats to be "absolutely neutral". There had been complaints against three to four officers at the level of DM and SP, and the commission had served a notice to them. "I told the officers at a meeting in clear terms that neutrality is non-negotiable," Quraishi said.

He turned down the request of political parties to allow the use of microphones from April 8, after the higher secondary examination ends, because other examinations would be still be going on.

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