Calcutta, Aug. 19: The state election commission would seek central forces for deployment extensively in seven of the 12 poll-bound municipalities categorised as “highly sensitive” and “violence-prone”, sources said today.
The elections to the 12 municipalities would be held on September 21. The seven civic areas where the commission apprehends violence are Burdwan and Guskara in Burdwan district, Habra and Panihati in North 24-Parganas, Chakdah in Nadia, Dubrajpur in Birbhum, and Dalkhola in North Dinajpur.
“We are yet to place a formal request for such forces…. We had a preliminary discussion with government officials today. We will make the request for central forces after a meeting with the director-general of police and the home secretary,” a source said.
According to sources, central forces have been deployed during civic polls in several states earlier and the request is not expected to become a contentious issue between the commission and the state government, unlike in the case of the panchayat elections when the two sides were locked in a legal battle.
“The state government is not very likely to oppose the request for central forces in the civic polls,” a home department official said today after a meeting with the commission.
Anuj Sharma, IG (law and order), represented the government at the meeting with poll panel secretary Tapas Ray.
A tentative force deployment plan for the poll-bound municipalities was also drawn up today, sources said.
According to the plan, in every single-booth and double-booth premises, two armed and two unarmed personnel would be deployed, whereas for triple-booth premises, there would be three armed and three unarmed personnel.
In the premises with four booths, four armed and four unarmed personnel would be present with a sub-inspector.
In five-booth premises, there would be five armed and five unarmed personnel with a sub-inspector. In six-booth premises, six armed and six unarmed personnel would be deployed with a sub-inspector.
In Burdwan, Guskara, Habra and Panihati, one company of central forces would be deployed in the campaign stage. In Chakda, Dubrajpur and Dalkhola, half a company would be deployed.