700+ companies of central forces to be sent for Bengal polls: CRPF chief
The Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) director general Kuldiep Singh said on Thursday 725 companies of central forces will be deployed for pre-poll duties in West Bengal ahead of the upcoming assembly elections. Out of the 725 companies, 415 have already reached the state, the newly-appointed director general said.
Around 350-370 of them will be from CRPF, Singh said during the annual press conference, adding the Election Commission of India will decide which phase of polling will be difficult according to which the deployment will be done. Polling in West Bengal will be held in eight phases beginning from March 27 and ending with the last phase on April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.
A company of central forces has around 100 personnel that amounts to deployment of nearly over 70,000 personnel for pre-poll duties in the state.
Earlier this month, the Election Commission had held a meeting with all the observers appointed for election duty. The briefing session that saw the participation, physically and virtually, of more than 1,600 observers focussed on election planning, security management and SVEEP aspects including state-specific issues and Covid-19 guidelines.
Last month, a maximum of nine companies of CRPF were planned to be deployed in Purulia and Jhargram districts with the poll body mulling the deployment of three companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) in Kolkata, four companies of CRPF in the Howrah Police Commissionerate area and two companies in rural Howrah, reported Mint.
As per the report that cited a senior official, the central forces were aimed to be deployed for area domination especially in the sensitive zones with the assistance of state police and senior officials of district administration.
The announcement comes ahead of the elections in a volatile state witnessing continuous clashes between the workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).