After a request from the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Union Home Ministry on Saturday decided to deploy additional 71 companies (7,100) personnel) of the Central paramilitary forces for the conduct of the Assembly polls in West Bengal, with immediate effect. As many as 1,000 companies of the Central paramilitary forces are already deployed there for the conduct of the elections in the State.
“The ECI has requested to deploy additional 71 companies of CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces)/SAPs (State Armed Police)/IRs (India Reserve) Bns (Battalions in West Bengal for AE-2021 related duties. In pursuance of the recommendations of the ECI vide order dated April 10, it has been decided to deploy additional 71 coys (companies) of CAPFs…..immediately in the State of West Bengal for Assembly Election-2021 related duties,” reads a Union Home Ministry letter faxed on Saturday to the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of Police of the State.
The composition of the additional deployments of the Central paramilitary forces will include 12 companies of the Central Reserve Police (CRPF), 33 companies of the Border Security Force (BSF), 13 companies of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), four companies of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and nine companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
With the deployment of the 71 companies of CAPFs, a total of 1,071 companies CAPFs, SAPs and IR Battalions will be available in West Bengal for election-related duties.
The break-up of the entire deployment of 1,071 companies of the Central Forces includes 253 companies of the CRPF, 217 companies of the BSF, 149 companies of CISF, 171 companies of SSB, 110 companies of ITBP and 55 Companies of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
In addition to this, the component of the SAPs/IR Battalion includes 30 companies from Uttar Pradesh, 20 companies from Madhya Pradesh, eight companies from Arunachal Pradesh, five companies from Sikkim, 10 companies from Manipur, 12 companies from Jharkhand, 14 companies from Nagaland, five companies from Mizoram and 12 companies from Bihar. These forces will also be detailed for counting duties and guarding EVMs.
“The State government is requested to work out the detailed deployment plan, in consultation with the respective CAPFs and Chief Force Coordinator. The movement and deployment of CAPFs shall be coordinated by CRPF,” said the letter.
Inspector General of South Bengal Frontier Headquarter Ashwini Kumar Singh has been re-nominated as Force Coordinator/ State Nodal Officer for deployment of forces during Assembly Election-2021 in West Bengal, it further said.
In view of the Covid-19 situation, the Union Home Ministry also directed the State government to organise necessary transportation, logistics and accommodation as also other arrangements as per the government guidelines on the issue.