ECI to deploy 125 companies of central forces in West Bengal for assembly polls

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Kolkata, Feb 19 (PTI) The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to deploy 125 companies of central forces in West Bengal by February 25 for the ensuing assembly elections, a senior official said on Friday.

The central armed police forces for the state will include 60 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 30 companies of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and five companies each of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), he said.

'The district-wise list of CAPF coys has been forwarded by the chief electoral officer of West Bengal.

'The senior superintendents of police and chief superintendents of police have been advised to take necessary steps for their accommodation, transportation and other logistics,' the official said.

As part of the deployment plan, 12 companies of the central forces are scheduled to arrive in the metropolis on Saturday, he said.

On Friday night, one CRPF company designated for Birbhum district, is slated to arrive.

The ECI is mulling deploying three companies of SSB in Kolkata, four companies of CRPF in neighbouring Howrah Police Commissionerate area and two companies in Howrah (Rural) for the time being, the official said.

A maximum of nine companies of CRPF each have been planned for Purulia and Jhargram districts.

'The forces will lay stress on area domination, especially in the sensitive zones. The state police and senior officials of the district administration will be assisting them,' he said.

The security personnel will send daily reports to the CEO by 8 pm.

Meanwhile, the ECI started the training of 24,000 polling officers in West Bengal on Friday, the official added.

Elections to the 294-member assembly are due in April-May. PTI SCH RBT RBT