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Apr 15, 2011 at 06:26pm IST

Violent polls: massive arms haul in Bengal

Kolkata: As Bengal gets ready for its six-phase polls, the Election Commission - whose job it is to keep the elections clean - has its hands full with 294 seats and over 70,000 polling booths.

Chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta says,"Unlicensed arms, cartridges, bombs, and other explosives in various quantities have been seized already."

About 1552 unlicensed arms, 2755 cartridges, 9197 bombs and explosives worth 610 kilograms have been recovered.

Violent polls: massive arms haul in Bengal

The Election Commission will also use web-casting from each booth for added security.

Taking a cue from the Bihar elections the Election Commission is using Vulnerability Mapping to identify people who are known for their notoriety during elections.

The mapping also identifies people and communities who are vulnerable during polls.

Sunil Gupta, Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal said, "We are trying to ensure that such vulnerable people and cast their vote freely and fairly without any fear".

And to reach out to voters, the commission has an SMS helpline and a toll free number. And for the first time in Bengal the EC will use web-casting from each booth for added security.

Gupta added, "Live video will be telecast on our website which can be monitored by our officers".

Politics in Bengal is known to be volatile and with an election that the entire nation is keeping a tab on the election commission is making sure there is no room for mistakes. With more than 31000 non-bailable warrants issued already and more than 57000 preventive arrests it will be something to see if the commission's efforts are enough for Bengal.

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