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Illegal arms seized ahead of Bengal polls

Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: Following pre-poll instructions from the Election Commission to the district administrations to ensure an improvement in the law and order situation in their respective areas ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, a total of 228 illegal arms and over 36,000 litres of illicit liquor have been seized from 18 districts in the first 15 days of February.

Moreover, 5,563 non-bailable warrants were executed during the period even though the outstanding number of such warrants is still 79,713. About 7,500 warrants, however, have been categorised as “otherwise disposed of” till now, State's Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said here on Tuesday.

While Bardhaman district topped in both the lists of illegal arms seizure and execution of non-bailable warrants, Maoist-affected districts such as Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia are relatively lagging behind. According to the State Election Commission officials, 12 arms were seized in Paschim Medinipur, five in Bankura and only one in Purulia.

Besides, 1,420 crude bombs, 503 rounds of ammunition, 52 gelatine sticks (Paschim Medinipur district), 485 detonators (Bardhaman district) and 105 kg of explosives were also seized.

Mr. Gupta said the district administrations were asked to submit weekly law and order reports to the commission till the elections ended.

He pointed out that preventive cases have been registered against 14,361 persons in 18 districts.

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