EC drafts plan for posting Central forces

Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) has prepared the deployment plan of CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces)

for the upcoming eight-phase Assembly elections in Bengal. The highest deployment of Central forces involving 955 companies will be during the fifth phase on April 17 when 45 Assembly constituencies covering Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, and parts of North 24-Parganas, Nadia and East Burdwan go to polls.

The sixth phase on April 22, in which 43 ACs comprising Uttar Dinajpur, and parts of North 24-Parganas, Nadia and West Burdwan will go to polls, is set to witness the deployment of 932 companies of CAPF.

The fourth phase, in which 44 ACs comprising Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, and parts of Howrah, Hooghly and South 24-Parganas will witness polls on April 10, will have a deployment of 899 companies.

The Commission is deploying 732 companies in the first phase, 697 in the second and 694 in the third. 30 ACs will have polls in both the first and second phase while the third phase will have polls in 31 ACs.

The penultimate phase on April 26 — covering Dakshin Dinajpur, Kolkata South, Dakshin Dinajpur, parts of Malda and Murshidabad — will have 760 companies while the last phase on April 29 covering Kolkata North, Birbhum and parts of Murshidabad and Malda will have 715

companies. The Central forces will be deployed not only in polling stations but also in

QRTs (Quick Response Team), sub-division and district striking force, strong room security, security for postal ballots etc.

As many as 14 companies CAPF will be deployed in the sector in the first phase when Jhargram, once a Maoist hotbed, will go to the


"The huge deployment of forces indicates that the Commission is leaving nothing to chance and is putting in the entire machinery to keep the law and order situation under control," a senior EC official said. The number of polling stations has gone up to 101916 from 77,413 (in the 2016 Assembly polls) as part of Covid management.

During the 2019 Parliamentary elections, the Commission had pumped in 842 companies of Central forces on poll duty.

This time, the concentration of forces is much higher than in the previous election which is evident from the deployment pattern.

As many as 125 companies of CAPF had reached the state before the announcement of election dates.

Following this, 170 companies and 200 companies have reached the state in phases. Another 210 companies will arrive in the next few days.

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