Malda SP shunted

Calcutta, Feb. 1: Jayanta Pal, the Malda superintendent of police, was removed today following a recommendation from the Election Commission for allegedly failing to implement the model code of conduct.

Sources in the EC said Pal was removed following a report from district magistrate Archana alleging that the police failed to stop a book fair, organised by a committee including at least one political leader, even after the model code of conduct came into effect.

The model code came into effect on January 11 in the Englishbazar Assembly segment, where a bypoll will be held on February 23. The bypoll was necessitated after Krishnendu Chowdhury, the erstwhile Congress MLA of Englishbazar, quit the party last December and was made tourism minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet.

Chowdhury is contesting the bypoll as a Trinamul candidate.

The Telegraph has learnt that the book fair organised on the Malda College grounds was inaugurated on January 16 despite a notification from the DM's office declaring that the event could not be held.

Trinamul's Malda youth Congress president Amlan Bhaduri is the joint secretary of the book fair committee. Trinamul sources said Bhaduri resigned from the book fair post after the declaration of the bypoll.

"According to the DM's complaint, the district officials had tried to stop the fair from being inaugurated and sought the police's help. But instead of helping, the police allegedly escorted some of the organisers to the venue," an EC official said. "It has been held that this was a violation of the model code of conduct."

Pal said: "Yes, I have received the transfer order."

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