EC to deploy Central Forces at all booths for 6th phase
Kolkata: The Election Commission will have all of the booths manned by Central Forces for the sixth phase of elections in Bengal, scheduled on Sunday. The total force deployment in this phase will be 770 companies - the highest in the polls so far.
In the sixth phase, districts like Jhargram, Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore, which were once hotbeds of Maoist activity, are going for polls. The Commission has identified 1,085 booths spread over 1,011 premises as Maoist-affected and has made special arrangements for these booths. The eight constituencies that are going to polls in the sixth phase are Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram, Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura & Bishnupur.
Previously, the Commission had plans to deploy 683 companies for the sixth phase but in the renewed plan, decided to increase the deployment by 87 companies. A major chunk of the forces will be deployed in Jhargram, Purulia and Bankura, all of which have a history of Maoist influence.
"59 constituencies are going for the polls in this phase, among which some constituencies have Maoist influence. We would ensure that they do not disrupt the peaceful election process," a senior Election Commission official said.
The Commission will deploy 135 companies for Jhargram alone. The Central Forces will share responsibility with the state forces in mobile sections like QRT and QAT in Jangalmahal.
In addition to deployment of forces at all polling station and mandatory QRTs), 547 Quick Action Teams (QATs) headed by Company Commanders and 108 additional QATs headed by Commandants have also been instructed to be on the move. "Forces deployed in Jangalmahal areas shall wear bulletproof jackets, helmets and carry adequate ammunitions," the Commission official added.