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SEC directs top cops to categorise polling booths

Kolkata: At a time when the top brass of the state government have held a meeting over the security arrangements to ensure a peaceful Panchayat poll, the State Election Commission (SEC) directed Superintendents of Police (SPs) in districts to categorise polling booths in four segments.
The segments are super sensitive, sensitive, low sensitive and normal. Based on the category of a polling booth, the decision on deployment of security personnel will be taken.
The SPs have to submit reports of their respective districts to the SEC by May 7.
Moreover, it has been learnt that as per the security design of the SEC, there will be armed police personnel at every polling station. But deployment of the number of constables, home guards, and assistant sub-inspectors at polling premises, will be depending on the number of booths in the premise.
In case of a single booth premise, there will be two constables apart from the armed police.
There will be two constables and two home guards where there are two booths in a premise.
In case of a polling premise with three booths, there will be two constables and 3 home guards.
One assistant sub-inspector will be posted along with two constables and four home guards in the premises with four to five booths, while there will be one assistant sub inspector, constable and six home guards for six booths in a premise.
Meanwhile, a high-level meeting was held at Nabanna over the deployment of security personnel during Panchayat elections.
Chief Secretary Malay De, Director General of Police (DGP) Surajit Kar Purkayastha and Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya held the meeting in this connection.
It may be recalled that the Bengal government had written to five states - Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha and Assam, requesting them to send security forces to conduct the election.
Sources said that there were repeated telephonic conversations between the top brass of Odisha, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in this connection and the state would be getting security forces from these four states.
There are 58,000 armed personnel in the state, along with 2,000 security personnel of the Excise department, Forest department and the Correctional Administration department.
According to a senior official of the state government, it is expected that Bengal will
get another 10,000 armed personnel from the other four states.
Moreover, according to the sources in SEC, there have been 4,500 complaints so far, including more than 100 complaints against police personnel.
The commissioner has written to the DGP and the concerned SPs to initiate action against them and send report to the commission.

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