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15,000 cops to guard Kolkata civic polls

The Kolkata Police have drawn up an elaborate plan to deploy a 15,000-strong force and made arrangements for surveillance by drones for the April 18 election to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

Five Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, would be put to use, besides 280 special police pickets and 218 sector mobile units to ensure security during the polling process, Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha said.

Purakayastha said 15,000 policemen would be joined by a 5,000-strong force from the state police to conduct the poll. The deployment will begin from April 16 at the end of the poll campaign and will remain till the election process is over. Apart from its central control room at Lalbazar city police headquarters, three additional control rooms would be opened during the election at Jadavpur, Pragati Maidan on EM Bypass and Behala, he said.

The State Election Commission, however, is not aware of the availability of central forces. “It could have been much easier to instill confidence among voters had the forces been deployed. With the Centre turning down West Bengal’s plea for central forces for the civic elections, no alternative is left but to conduct the election with the help of state forces alone,” said State Election Commissioner SR Upadhyay.
Agencies

Agencies

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