Elaborate security arrangement by EC for polls in Jangalmahal
Kolkata: The Election Commission has made elaborate security arrangement for the Jangalmahal area during the fourth phase of polls on May 7 in West Bengal with deployment of central forces, helicopters, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and anti-landmine device, officials said today.
"Area domination, route march and flag march have already begun in the entire Left Wing Extremist (LWE) area, while a security net has been thrown around the Assembly segments of LWE areas like Jhargram, Binpur, Bandwan, Balarampur, Jaypur and Baghmundi," OSD in CEO`s office Amit Roy Chowdhury said.
Two helicopters have been kept on standby for the three LWE affected districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia from May 5 to 8 along with medical support teams, to facilitate movement of security or polling personnel or to convert the helicopters to air-ambulances on emergencies, Roy Chowdhury said.
To improve communication in Jangalmahal`s shadow zones, 10 satellite (SAT) phones have already been installed, he said.
Faced with strong criticism by opposition parties, the EC has immediately changed the deployment pattern of central forces, the OSD said.
"At the district level, deployment of forces will be finalised following discussion with the DM, SP, General Observer, Police Observer and the candidates," he said.
"At the state level the deployment of forces will be finalised by the Special Observer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, CEO Sunil Gupta, and the ADG (Law and Order)," Roy Chowdhury said.
The polling stations, which would not be covered by central forces, would be covered either by digital camera, video camera or web-casting.
The EC would also maintain an extensive media watch with continuous screening of incidents from six major news channels, Roy Chowdhury said, adding the fourth phase polls in the state`s six parliamentary constituencies would be directly monitored by six general observers, six expenditure observers and four police observers, besides a large number of micro observers.
Webcasting has been arranged for 177 polling stations in this phase.
The EC has also reduced polling time in LWE affected Assemblies of Jhargram, Binpur and Bandwan under Jhargram parliamentary constituency, and Balarampur, Baghmundi and Jaypur under Purulia parliamentary constituency by two hours, the OSD said adding "While polling in other parts would be held from 7 AM to 6 PM, polling process in LWE areas will end at 4 PM for security reasons."
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