Team to “observe” polls in Nandigram

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: A team comprising members of the civil society will go to Nandigram in West Bengal’s Purbo Medinipur district, to “observe” the conduct of panchayat elections on May 11.

Members of the team, who had earlier expressed fears that the polls might not be free and fair in view of the recent violence in the area, will be visiting various parts of Nandigram considered to be sensitive.

Traffic was disrupted in certain parts of the city during the evening peak hours on Thursday when road blocks were set up for an hour at various street intersections by supporters of the Trinamool Congress in protest against the alleged failure of the State government to ensure peace and normality in Nandigram.

The Trinamool Congress supporters were also protesting against the terror unleashed in the area, allegedly by activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), in the run up to the polls.

A section of the city’s intelligentsia has planned to take out a procession on Friday demanding that the State administration ensure free and fair elections, which will be held in three phases.

Elaborate security arrangements were in place to ensure that law and order was maintained in Nandigram and a few other sensitive areas on May 11, Home Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakravarty said.

Twenty companies of the Border Security Force had arrived in the city for deployment in the five districts of the State where the first phase of polling was to be held.

Flag marches would be conducted by the BSF in Nandigram and areas where Maoists had a presence, he added.

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