Police will be without any arms on April 25 poll duty

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Kolkata: After the chaos and the tirmoil at the KMC polls on April 25,  3,720 Kolkata Police personnel prepare to head for North 24-Parganas for the April 25 polls. According to an order from the district administration, the Kolkata cops will be unarmed on April 25, the day of the polls.

According to sources, a letter from the administration asks cops from the city not to bring along 900 firearms assigned to them when they report for election duty in the district. Coming at a time when police are grappling with the shooting of one of their officers on poll duty, the strange order has come as a shock. What adds to the mystery is that the administration is silent on why it wants the cops unarmed.

The decision comes at the time after SI Jagannath Mondal was shot at Girish park on the day of the KMC polls.”Unless police feel protected how can they protect citizens,” wondered a relative of SI Jagannath Mondal at CMRI Hospital where he is being treated. In Kolkata, two of every four policemen have to be armed on poll duty. In the districts, the ratio of armed cops is worse. Leaving behind 900 guns will be a huge handicap, said officers.

The decision will keep the goons at an advantageable position no doubt. Infact, with the violence that the city saw on the day of the Kolkata polls, the decision remains as one of the major issues of concern among the police ok Kolkata.

“Ever since the unfortunate death of two persons in police firing in 2011, it has become rare for the force to even fire in the air to control mobs. But at least carrying a weapon acts as a deterrent. Given that most men who created trouble in the KMC elections were hired from outside Kolkata, they will respect us even less in their own backyard,” said a constable.

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