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Election Commission requisitions 27 companies of central forces for Bengal in addition to 150 already deployed

New companies will include 15 from CRPF, 5 from BSF and 7 from CISF

Saibal Gupta Calcutta Published 25.03.24, 09:21 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The Election Commission has requisitioned 27 companies of central forces for Bengal in addition to the 150 companies already deployed in the state since the beginning of March.

The decision on the additional forces, expected to arrive in the first week of April, was taken after Tuesday’s scuffle between supporters of Union minister of state Nisith Pramanik and Bengal minister Udayan Guha in Dinhata, Cooch Behar.


Cooch Behar is one of three Bengal constituencies where polling is scheduled for April 19, the first phase.

The 27 new companies will include 15 from the CRPF, 5 from the BSF and 7 from the CISF. The poll panel has requested the state government to facilitate a quick decision on which parts of Bengal these 27 companies would be deployed in. The poll panel has already sanctioned 920 companies of central forces in all for Bengal, the highest allocation among all the states and Union Territories, outstripping even the 635 companies sanctioned for Jammu and Kashmir.

Political analysts believe that the commission does not want to take any chances relating to the elections in Bengal. “The supplementary forces will undoubtedly be stationed in north Bengal, where six constituencies are scheduled for polls in the first and second phases, on April 19 and April 26,” a political analyst said.

In a letter to the Bengal government, the Election Commission has said: “The state government is requested to work out the detailed deployment plan, in consultation with the respective CAPFs (central armed police forces) and Chief Force Coordinator. The movement and deployment of CAPFS shall be coordinated by CRPF.”

The letter makes it clear that B.K. Sharma, inspector-general, CRPF, West Bengal, will be the chief force coordinator for the election-time deployment of central forces in Bengal. It asks the state government to arrange for transport, logistics, accommodation and other requirements relating to central force deployment.

The 150 companies already deployed in the state, in two phases, have been dispatched to various districts and have begun discharging their duties, including patrolling. The state government will be informed promptly about any redeployment of these companies, the poll panel has said.

Central forces have also been sanctioned for Chhattisgarh (360 companies), Bihar (295), Uttar Pradesh (252), Punjab (252), Jharkhand (250), Gujarat (200), Rajasthan (200), Maharashtra (150), and Madhya Pradesh (113). Violence-affected Manipur will see the deployment of 200 companies.

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