The Election Commission (EC) on Friday suspended a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) and removed two officers in charge (OCs) for "not taking appropriate action" during an attack on a Congress bike rally in West Tripura, officials said.
The stringent move came after the Congress submitted a representation to the ECI on the violence in Majlishpur, barely 18 km from the capital town.
Fifteen Congress leaders and workers, including AICC general secretary Ajay Kumar, suffered injuries in the attack, earlier this week, party MLA Sudip Roy Barman has claimed.
Shortly after the incident, the police registered three FIRs and arrested eight people for their alleged involvement.
"The chief secretary and the DGP were directed to ensure a level playing field for all political parties, and to initiate strict action against partisan officers. The commission has directed them to take stringent action against the officers for not taking appropriate action in time," ECI's Joint Director Anuj Chandak said in a letter on Friday, ordering the suspension of Jirania SDPO along with the removal of OCs of two police stations.
According to Superintendent of Police (west) Sankar Debnath, three officers have been "closed", and their replacements will take charge on Saturday.
The EC has also appointed three special observers -- Yogendra Tripathy (IAS), Vivek Johri (IPS) and B Murli Kumar (IRS) - asking them to proceed to the state immediately to take stock of the situation, ensure proper deployment of central forces and intensify enforcement measures.
The chief secretary and the DGP shall immediately assess the threat perception to the leaders of various political parties in the state and provide security accordingly without further delay, Chandak said.
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