Close to 50,000 security personnel, including 361 companies of central forces, have been deployed to ensure that polling for the sixth and last phase of east Indian state of West Bengal elections is held in a free and fair manner.
Election Commission officials said 123 companies of central forces are manning Coochbehar district while another 238 companies are stationed in East Midnapore district. Another contingent of 4,500 state police personnel, have been deployed to assist the Central Forces in Coochbehar while 7,500 personnel are in East Midnapore district. Together, the two districts have 25 constituencies going to the hustings on Thursday.
The remaining companies of central forces, about 310 in number, who were stationed in West Bengal for the earlier phases, have been sent to the poll-bound states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, officials said.
Since the two poll-bound districts are bordering Assam and Odisha, the poll panel has also written to the chief secretaries of the states requesting them to set up ‘Naka’ points in bordering areas, officials said.
The EC has already set up such ‘Naka’ points to monitor the movement of any anti-social elements on the West Bengal side of the inter-state borders. Prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC will be promulgated on poll day and enforced strictly to ensure that any unlawful assembly is effectively curbed.
Besides, day-time patrolling for area domination, night patrolling by 183 teams for quick reaction in the night also began from on Tuesday. The Commission has so far identified 714 vulnerable hamlets and 1,685 vulnerable voters in the two districts.
Close to 900 trouble-mongers have been identified and action taken against all of them. Altogether, about 2,200 complaints were received so far by the poll panel out of which around 2,000 have already been disposed off.
The Commission said they have issued clear directions to the district magistrates, superintendents of police and especially the Commanders of CAPF/state police to keep a strict watch on the law and order to ensure that each and every voter, including the weaker sections, feels confident enough to come out and exercise his voting right freely without any fear or pressure.
They have also directed that culprits causing intimidation, creating fear or causing harm to citizens must be brought to book on top priority unhesitatingly. Special motorcycle teams of police have been deployed to effectively, intensively and extensively check the movement of bikers and to take appropriate action against violators.
BSF has been further directed to step up surveillance at the international border in the last 48 hours.