Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued transfer orders for non-cadre officers who are posted at leadership positions as District Magistrate (DM) and Superintendent of Police (SP) in Odisha and three other states including Gujarat, Punjab and West Bengal.

Post of DM (Collector) and SP in the district are for officers from Indian Administrative and Indian Police Service respectively.

The officers to be transferred in Odisha are Collector of Dhenkanal and SPs of Deogarh and Cuttack Rural.

The Commission said this action is a demonstration of the Commission's dedication and promise to uphold fairness and preserve the integrity of the electoral process, a sentiment repeatedly emphasized by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

The decision was taken after the commission convened a meeting chaired by CEC Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

Other officers to be transferred are SPs of Chhota Udaipur and Ahmedabad Rural districts in Gujarat. SSPs of Pathankot, Fazilka, Jalandhar Rural and Malerkotla districts in Punjab.

DM of Purba Medinipur, Jhargram, Purba Bardhaman and Birbhum districts of West Bengal have also been transferred.

Additionally, the Commission has also directed for transfer of SSP Bathinda in Punjab and SP Sonitpur in Assam in view of their kinship or familial association with the elected political representatives. The officials in these two districts have been transferred as pre-emptive measures to dispel any apprehensions of administration being biased or perceived to be compromised.

Under the directive, all respective state governments have been instructed to promptly transfer non-encadred officers from their current roles as DM and SP/SSP, with immediate effect, and submit a compliance report to the Commission.

Earlier on March 18, in a decisive move towards upholding the principles of free, fair and transparent elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued orders for the removal of Home Secretaries in six states namely Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

(With inputs from ANI)