684 companies of CAPF to be deployed in first phase of state poll

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Kolkata, Mar 20 (PTI) The Election Commission will deploy at least 684 companies of CAPF in 10,288 booths spread in about 7,034 premises in five districts in the first phase of polling in West Bengal on March 27, a senior official said on Saturday.

In the first phase, election is scheduled in 30 assembly constituencies of Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, Purba Medinipur (Part 1) and Paschim Medinipur (Part 1), he said.

Keeping in mind the Maoist activity in Jhargram district, the EC has decided to deploy 11 paramilitary personnel per booth, the highest in any election in the state so far, the official told PTI.

The other districts where election will be held on that day will have an average of six paramilitary personnel per booth.

The official said altogether 144 companies of central forces will be deployed in Jhargram for the election.

'All the 1,307 booths spread over 1,010 premises in Jhargram have been declared as left wing extremist-affected areas and we have decided to deploy 127 companies of the central forces only for booth management. The EC has allotted approximately 11 personnel to manage each booth in this district,' he said.

Fourteen companies of CAPF will be used as quick response teams, one for the maintenance of the strong room and another two companies of the central force will be kept in reserve as the strike force in the district and sub-divisional levels in the district, he said.

So far as the other districts are concerned, Purulia has the highest concentration of forces with 185 companies to be deployed in 3127 booths spread over 2025 premises.

In Purba Medinipur 148 companies of CAPF will be deployed in 2,437 booths located in 1,686 premises and 124 companies have been allotted for 2,089 booths at 1,363 premises in Paschim Medinipur district, he said.

Bankura which has 1,328 booths spread over 950 premises will have the least deployment - only 83 companies, the official said.

About deployment of the state police, he said 22,092 of its personnel will be engaged in the first phase.

The state force includes 173 inspectors, 2,661 sub-inspectors or assistant sub-inspectors, 4,012 armed constables, 13,970 unarmed constables and 1,276 lady constables, he said.

The central forces will be mainly deployed in and around the booths and the state force will be used for the maintenance of law and order. The constables will be used for the queue management, the official added. PTI SCH KK KK KK