Kolkata: In an unprecedented move, Election Commission of India (EC) has dispatched a batch of Central forces for deployment in Bengal for election duty even as the first phase of Lok Sabha polls here is a month away.
Also, the poll panel has directed the Bengal chief electoral officer (CEO) to send a report identifying the areas that witnessed violence during the Panchayat polls in the state held last May. Such areas will see an intensified deployment of Central troops for the Lok Sabha polls.
Sanjay Basu, the additional state CEO, told newspersons today that ten companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) have started for Bengal and will reach the state on 15 March.
“They will be deployed in vulnerable areas in various districts from the very next day to carry out confidence-building measures such as area domination, routine patrolling, and route march,” he said.
EC, however, has not divulged the total number of Central troops that will be deployed for the elections in Bengal. The first phase of elections in Bengal is slated for 11 April, followed by six more phases on 18, 23, 29 April, and 6, 12, and 19 May.
Bengal government sources said that this is for the first time that Central forces are being sent to the state almost a month in advance of an election. Even in the high voltage Bengal Assembly polls in 2011, Central troops were sent hardly 15 days ahead of voting.
CEO office sources added that the ten companies of Central troops will be deployed in pockets of North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, East Midnapore, Birbhum, West Burdwan, Murshidabad, Malda, and North Dinajpur.
What’s more! The Central forces have been asked to live-stream their patrolling to the EC by using the body cameras that are being provided to each and every jawans.