Central forces to remain in Bengal till May 23

Last Updated: Monday, May 9, 2011 - 21:35

Kolkata: The Election Commission on Monday said Central forces would remain in West Bengal till May 23 after the conclusion of the six-phase Assembly elections on May 10.

"The forces will stay back in different districts of the
state, particularly in those pockets where chances of violence
are high," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Gupta told
reporters here.

He said the Central forces would be retained till May 23,
10 days after the counting exercise on May 13.

Gupta said the EC is fully prepared to meet challenges in
the 14 "extremists-prone" constituencies spread over three
districts which will go to polls tomorrow in the sixth and
final phase.

"Based on reports from intelligence and other agencies,
we have prepared our strategy. We have worked out a security
system and made it fool-proof," he said.

Besides 41 companies of Central forces permanently
stationed in the three districts to tackle the Maoist threat,
614 more companies of the forces - 316 in West Midnapore, 163
in Purulia and 135 in Bankura - in addition to a huge number
of state forces, will be deployed for the polls, EC officials
said.

They said roughly one lakh state and Central forces would
be deployed to maintain security in 3,534 polling stations in
the three districts where 26,57,434 electors would cast their
votes.

"We have also received force enhancer capabilities such
as advance communication systems like SAT phones and night
vision devices from the Home Ministry and other agencies
which we will use fully to make the security system
fool-proof," Gupta said.

All inter-state and inter-district borders have been
sealed to prevent any infiltration. Three helicopters would
undertake air-surveillance and co-ordinate with ground
forces to thwart any subversive activity, the CEO said.

Arrangements have also been made to air-lift victims of
violence in the event of an emergency.

"We will also use advance medical equipment like
`Quick Clot Kit` to deal with any medical emergency," Gupta
added.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 9, 2011 - 21:35

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