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EC lodges FIR on Gujarat riots CDs

Patna, February 13
Stepping up its drive against model code violations in the run-up to second phase of the Bihar Assembly poll, the Election Commission (EC) today lodged an FIR against unknown persons in connection with screening of CDs containing footage of Gujarat riots in two districts even as the ruling RJD said it had nothing to do with such CDs.

Purnea Police Superintendent Sudhanshu Kumar said the FIR was lodged at the Rupauli police station under the Representation of People’s Act against unknown persons and the role of RJD’s Rupauli MLA Bima Bharati was being probed in connection with the case, although Bharati was not named in it.

Responding to the EC’s notice on screening of CDs in Rupauli, a RJD delegation today met state chief electoral officer K.C. Saha here and told him in a written reply that the party had nothing to do with the CDs containing the footage of the post-Godhra riots.

“In fact, we are not aware of it,” said the RJD reply to the EC’s notice, seeking to know the ‘factual position’ about the screening of the CDs specifically in Rupauli constituency in Purnea district.

Party national general secretary Ramkripal Yadav, its state campaign committee chairman Bhola Prasad Singh, treasurer Rakesh Ranjan and general secretary Ram Bachan Rai met Saha this afternoon and submitted the reply.

Advancing its deadline by 24 hours, the EC had asked the RJD to explain the factual position by 7 pm yesterday, but the party expressed its inability to reply to the notice before the deadline, saying both its national and state presidents were preoccupied with campaigning.

A Darbhanga report said FIRs had been registered against RJD, BJP and LJP candidates from Darbhanga Assembly constituency and an Independent candidate from Jale assembly constituency, where polling was postponed for violation of the model code of conduct.

A probe was also ordered to look into the licence of two arms which Independent candidate Prakash Mallick had been carrying and an FIR was lodged at the Jale police station against him for ‘intimidating’ voters in Jale Assembly constituency, District Magistrate Pradip Kumar said.

Mallick was a former activist of the banned CPI (Maoist), who had surrendered recently.

Separate FIRs were also lodged against RJD candidate Mumtaz Alam, BJP nominee Sanjay Sarabgi and LJP contender Satyanarayan Gami from Darbhanga Assembly constituency for allegedly pasting posters, the District Magistrate said.

Six more FIRs had been registered against persons who had pasted posters, seeking votes for their respective leaders, he added.

The EC also decided to appoint an additional observer for Darbhanga district.

The EC yesterday postponed elections in the Assembly constituencies of Bahera, Ghanshyampur and Jale in the district to February 18 on account of ‘inadequate’ security and law and order arrangements.

About 24,000 illegally issued voter identity cards were detected in Surajgarha Assembly constituency and two Block Development Officers had been recommended for suspension in the case. — PTI


Polling postponed in Surajgarh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
The Election Commission today postponed polling in Surajgarh Assembly constituency in Lakhisarai district of Bihar following certain irregularities.

The polling which was scheduled in the second phase on February 15, would now be held on February 26, commission sources said here.

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