‘Adequate’ central force vow

The polls in Alipurduar, that shares international border with Bhutan, has made Thimphu announce restrictions on movement at the border

By TT Bureau in Alipurduar/Cooch Behar
  • Published 10.04.19, 2:18 AM
  • Updated 10.04.19, 2:18 AM
  • a min read
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Paramilitary personnel patrol a locality in Alipurduar on Tuesday. Anirban Choudhury

Central paramilitary forces will be deployed in “adequate numbers” on April 11 when Cooch Behar and Alipurduar vote in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, senior officials said on Tuesday.

In Alipurduar, 21 companies of CAPF (central armed paramilitary force) would be deployed while in Cooch Behar, there will 44 companies to guard the booths and also take care of law and order along with the state police.

Shubhanjan Das, the district magistrate of Alipurduar, said along with the CPMF personnel, there will be 2,958 state police personnel who will be on duty during the elections. Back in 2014, 16 companies of CAPF were deployed in Alipurduar.

“There will central forces in around 43 per cent of the booths, while the remaining booths would be manned by the state police and central forces together. In total, we have around 544 critical polling stations in the district,” said Das.

Added to the security arrangements, the administration will also engage micro observers in 409 booths.

The polls in Alipurduar, that shares international border with Bhutan, has made Thimphu announce restrictions on movement at the border.

As per the order, the gates at Jaigaon-Phuentsholing border will remain close from 6pm on Tuesday and till the completion of polls on Thursday.

“The order came on Monday and now we have to replan itineraries of tourists scheduled to travel to Bhutan and return,” said Samrat Sanyal, general secretary, Himalayan Hospitality & Tourism Development Network.

Like Alipurduar, the campaign concluded in Cooch Behar on Tuesday. In the district, sources said there are 755 critical polling booths.