EC says Mamata Banerjee's injuries not result of attack, orders suspension of director of security

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New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) The Election Commission on Sunday concurred with reports from its two poll observers that there was no pre-meditated attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram, indicating that her injuries were the result of a security lapse.

Taking stern action, the commission ordered that Director, Security, Vivek Sahay, an IPS officer, 'be removed' from his post and placed under suspension immediately.

'Charges must be framed against him within a week for grossly failing in discharge of his primary duty as Director, Security, to protect the Z+ protectee,' a statement from the Election Commission (EC) said.

It said the state chief secretary, in consultation with the DGP, is authorised to post a suitable director of security immediately.

The poll panel also decided that a committee comprising the chief secretary and the DGP will 'identify within next three days the other proximate security personnel below Director Security who failed in their duties to prevent the incident and protect the Z+ protectee, and take suitable action for their failure...' The statement said Smita Pandey, an IAS officer, shall be posted immediately as district magistrate and district election officer of Purba Medinipur in place of Vibhu Goel, 'who shall be transferred to a non-election post'.

The poll panel also ordered that Pravin Prakash, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Purba Medinipur, be placed under suspension immediately and charges framed against him for major failure of 'bandobast'.

Sunil Kumar Yadav will now be posted as the SP of Purba Medinipur in place of Prakash, it said.

The decisions were taken by the EC after reviewing reports sent by its special poll observers, Ajay Nayak and Vivek Dube, and the state government.

Based on the reports, the EC concluded that Banerjee sustained the injuries prima facie due to a lapse on the part of her security in-charge, sources had earlier said.

The Trinamool Congress supremo fell down and sustained injuries on her left leg and waist while she was campaigning in the Nandigram assembly segment on Wednesday evening after filing her nomination from the constituency. There were allegations that she was pushed by unidentified people. PTI NAB IJT