Poll panel to look into heckling of Bengal official

The Election Commission has set up a committee to look into the allegations of a West Bengal official that he was heckled by “miscreants belonging to the ruling Trinamool Congress” and a legislator “argued roughly” with him even as the party said it was mulling legal action against the official.

Joint chief electoral officer Jaydip Mukherjee said Monday the committee comprises an additional superintendent of police of the district and the local sub-divisional police officer.

The CEO’s office was now going through the preliminary report sent by the district magistrate on the incident which has caused a stir in the state, he said.

However, a top Trinamool leader said the ruling party was mulling action against the official – the block development officer of Habra II for “working with an ulterior motive” to “malign” the party and its Ashokenagar legislator Dhiman Roy.

BDO Dinabandhu Gayen, in an “FIR against Dhiman Roy, the Honourable MLA and 25 others” to the Ashokenagar police station March 26, had alleged that Roy abused him on telephone after a Model Code of Conduct team removed the posters and festoons bearing Banerjee’s pictures from public places March 24.

Gayen, in his complaint, also alleged that the legislator and about 25 Trinamool activists barged into his room and insulted and assaulted him and threatened that if the posters were not put up again, he and his Model Code of Conduct team will be “beheaded and their legs chopped off”.

However, the BDO amended his complaint a day later, dropping the word FIR and the name of the MLA.

The first complaint had said that Roy had “abused” Gayen over the phone. A day later, the BDO alleged the MLA had “argued roughly” with him over telephone.

The amended version had no mention of the MLA and his team threatening Gayen, physically assaulting him, or threatening to behead and chop off his legs.

Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy rubbished the allegations and accused the officer of maligning the legislator with an ulterior motive.

“It is clear that he is working with an ulterior motive and at the behest of some political party, he has lodged the complaint to malign the Trinamool and its legislator Dhiman Roy. We are exploring legal actions against Gayen,” Roy told media persons here, after meeting state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta and denying the involvement of his party workers and the lawmaker.

State Food Minister Jyotipriya Mallick also questioned Gayen’s complaint.

“There is no doubt he is acting under the influence of rival political parties. I wonder how he came to know about the names of the 25 Trinamool workers whom he has mentioned in the complaint,” he said.

Following the complaint, 15 Trinamool workers have been arrested but released on bail by a court.