The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday, 14 March, ruled out an attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying that the decision was based on a report by state's observers and chief secretary, reported ANI. Minutes after the announcement, the poll body suspended the police officer in charge of the chief minister’s security in Nandigram.
"Vivek Sahay IPS, Director Security shall be removed from the post of the Director Security and be placed under suspension immediately. The 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," the Election Commission said, reported NDTV.
Meanwhile, West Bengal BJP wrote to the ECI asking for treatment history at SSKM hospital, where Banerjee was treated, to be made public so that "staged incidents don't repeat to deceive masses and manipulate their voting choices."
Poll Observers’ Report
The incident in Bengal's Nandigram in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was injured was an accident and not a planned attack, according to the report of two poll observers submitted before the ECI on Saturday, 13 March, PTI reported.
According to PTI, a source at the Chief Electoral Officer's office said the report states that the incident which took place at Birulia bazar in Nandigram in East Midnapore district on 10 March after Banerjee filed her nomination had taken place "suddenly" though a "conspiracy theory" was spoken about.
The findings have been prepared by special observer Ajay Nayak and special police observer Vivek Dubey to West Bengal for the state election.
Following the incident, the EC had sought detailed reports from concerned officials. The initial report into the incident was submitted on Friday, however, the EC had sought more details, India Today reported.
The report took into account the details provided by eye witnesses present during the incident as well as the video grabs collected from them. It also referred to the failure of the police personnel in-charge of the chief minister's security detail in controlling the crowd which came "too close" to her.
"The local police and chief minister's security failed to control the crowd and that led to the untoward situation," the source said referring to the report, according to India Today.
Mamata Banerjee was allegedly attacked while campaigning in Nandigram on 10 March and the doctor treating her had earlier informed that she had suffered severe bone injuries on her ankle and shoulder. She was discharged from the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata on Friday, 12 March, two days after she was injured.
In the aftermath of the attack, The Trinamool Congress had written to the Election Commission alleging "a deep-rooted conspiracy” to take Banerjee’s life and linked it to the sudden dismissal of the Bengal police chief a day before, for which it had blamed the BJP.
(With inputs from PTI, India Today)