An hour after the election to the Tripura East Lok Sabha seat was deferred till April 23 over security concerns, the Election Commission late on Tuesday transferred Additional Director General (Law & Order) of Tripura Police Rajiv Singh citing several instances of law and order failure in the run-up to the polls.
In a letter to Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti, ECI Secretary Arvind Anand wrote, “…several incidents regarding law and order failure were reported to the Commission in the run-up to the elections in Tripura. The Commission had considered the matter and reviewed the law & order situation in Tripura”.
The letter also said that the ECI has directed V.S. Yadav, an IPS officer of 1987 cadre, to be posted as Special Director General (Law & Order) of Tripura Police in place of ADG Rajiv Singh with immediate effect. Yadav was instructed to take charge as Special DGP by Tuesday night.
Earlier this month, opposition Congress and CPI (M) accused CEO Sriram Taranikanti and Director General of Police (DGP) Akhil Kumar Shukla of partisanship in the Lok Sabha election process and demanded their replacement. The opposition parties also alleged there was large-scale poll violence at Tripura West Parliamentary constituency during the first phase of polling on April 11.
Both the Opposition CPI (M) and Congress alleged large-scale poll rigging, booth jamming during polling hours. They also alleged that their polling agents were thrown out of booths and security cameras stopped functioning when BJP workers voted as proxies for other voters. The parties alleged that despite several complaints, security forces and police didn’t act under the influence of the ruling BJP.