News Brief

West Bengal: BJP Darjeeling Candidate Raju Bista Claims Police Intimidating His Counting Agents Ahead of Vote Count

Swarajya Staff

Jun 04, 2024, 07:51 AM | Updated 07:51 AM IST

BJP Darjeeling Lok Sabha Candidate Raju Bista (X)
BJP Darjeeling Lok Sabha Candidate Raju Bista (X)

The BJP candidate from West Bengal's Darjeeling, Raju Bista, has alleged that the state police is 'indirectly' intimidating his counting agents.

In a letter written to the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, Bista alleged that a police officer from Pradhan Nagar Police Station in Siliguri has been reportedly "calling BJP counting agents and asking for their personal details, addresses etc."

"I am writing to register my outrage and request for your urgent intervention to safeguard the privacy, safety and security of the individuals who are volunteering as my counting agents. I am also requesting you to prevent the intimidation of my counting agents, as well as manipulation and subversion of the electoral process," the letter reads.

Bista also alleged that "certain sections of the West Bengal police are working actively as TMC agents", and they are indulging in direct and indirect pressure tactics on the counting agents.

Collecting personal details, addresses and other sensitive information of the counting agents poses grave risk on their safety and security, Bista said in the letter.

"I have spoken to the inspector in charge (IC) and he admitted that he is checking the background of my counting agents, which I believe is against the norms set down by the Election Commission of India," he claimed.

"Therefore, I am seeking a clarification whether this calling my counting agents under the instructions of a particular police station IC is being done as per the provision of the Election Commission or not?" he said.

"If it is not done as per the provisions of the Election Commission, I am requesting for your kind and urgent intervention to safeguard the privacy, safety and security of the BJP counting agents, and initiate strict disciplinary action against the officers concerned so that any attempts at the subversion of electoral processes, intimidation and risking of safety and security of my counting agents is dealt with as a criminal offence," he added.

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