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Central Forces To Remain In Andhra Even After June 4, Directs Poll Body

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday directed the Union home ministry to retain 25 companies of central forces in Andhra Pradesh even after counting of votes on June 4 following post-poll violence in the state as it conveyed its displeasure to the state chief secretary and the police chief over the incidents.

In a statement, the EC said “without mincing any words”, it directs the chief secretary and the director general of police to ensure that such violence is not repeated and all SPs to be tasked with take pre-emptive measures to avoid such a situation in future.

The poll authority had summoned chief secretary KS Jawahar Reddy and DGP Harish Gupta to Nirvanchan Sadan here to seek “personal explanation” over the incidents of violence reported on Monday and Tuesday.

“The Commission decided to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs to retain the 25 CAPF (central armed police force) companies in Andhra Pradesh for 15 days after counting, to control any violence after declaration of results,” the poll panel said.

It said the state government had requested that central forces be retained for 15 days post counting.

In the meeting, the poll authority sought timely filing of chargesheet against the culprits, preferably within the model code of conduct period. The poll code period usually ends after counting is completed.

During the briefing, the CS and the DGP shared their assessment of negligence and lack of supervision on the part of officials in violence-hit districts.

The Commission approved various proposals of the state government. These included investigation by a special investigation team and submit an action taken report to the Commission in two days in each of the cases.

FIRs will be updated with additional appropriate IPC sections and other relevant statutory provisions.

The EC also approved the transfer of district collector of Palnadu and initiation of departmental enquiry; suspension of SPs of Palnadu and Ananthapuramu districts and initiation of departmental enquiry.

It also gave its nod to the transfer of SP of Tirupati and initiation of departmental enquiry as well as suspension of 12 subordinate police officials in Palnadu, Anathapuramu and Tirupati districts and initiation of departmental enquiry.

Several incidents of violence were reported in Ananthapuramu, Palnadu and Tirupati districts on the poll-day and post poll day.

Incidents were also reported before the poll involving assault, setting the property and office of the opposite party on fire, threatening, damaging of the campaign vehicles and stone pelting.

The EC pointed out that most of these incidents happened in the districts of Annamaya, Chittoor and Palnadu and few incidents in Guntur, Anantapur and Nandyal.

The leaders of the ruling YSRCP and opposition TDP have levelled allegations against each other for the incidents.

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