Action will be taken against people involved in assault on candidates in phase 3 of Bengal polls: Official

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Kolkata, Apr 6 (PTI) Action will be taken against those who were involved in assault on candidates in some constituencies during the third phase of assembly elections in West Bengal on Tuesday, Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab said.

Aftab said his office has received a total of 1,802 complaints during the day and arrested 11 people for their alleged involvement in the attacks on candidates.

'Polling was more less peaceful barring some sporadic violence. There have been some incidents of assault on candidates and we have sought reports. Action will be taken against those who are found guilty,' he said.

In the third of the eight-phase elections, 31 constituencies went to polls in three districts Howrah (Part 1), Hooghly (Part 1) and South 24 Parganas (Part 2).

The Election Commission has also suspended four officials in connection with the recovery of three Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and four Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) from the house of an alleged TMC leader in Tulsiberia in Uluberia Uttar (SC) assembly constituency, the CEO said.

He said three home guards who were on duty there have been demobilised.

Though the seals of the EVMs and VVPATs were 'intact', the machines will not be used any further, he said.

Referring to the assault on Trinamool Congress candidates Sujata Mondal, Nimal Maji and Najmul Karim as well as BJP candidates Papiya Adhikary and Swapan Dasgupta, Aftab said, 'Necessary and prompt action have been taken and investigation is underway'.

ADG (Law and Order) Jag Mohan said video footages are being probed and those found guilty will be treated as per the law.

Asked whether the EC has received any complaint regarding sexual assault of a Class 10 student allegedly by a central force personnel in Tarekswar late on Monday, the CEO said an FIR has been lodged and a probe initiated.

'The personnel has been immediately removed from the posting,' he added.

The poll panel on Tuesday also removed returning officers in eight constituencies of Kolkata to conform to regulations.

Aftab said West Bengal registered at least 77.68 per cent voters' turnout till 5 pm on Tuesday. PTI SCH RBT RBT