West Bengal polls: One lakh security personnel posted for third phase of election

Kolkata: Ahead of the crucial third phase of polling in West Bengal, a tight security ring of one lakh
security personnel, including 75,000 central paramilitary personnel, has been deployed all over the state.

Election Commission officials said close to 700 companies of central armed police forces, comprising around 75,000 men, have taken their positions.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

As per instructions, they are doing route marches as part of an area domination exercise to instill confidence among voters.

Assisting these 75,000 paramilitary personnel, who are not conversant with the local language or geography, there will be a contingent of 25,000-strong state police personnel.

All polling premises will be guarded by central forces while 'lathi'-wielding state personnel, who understand local language, will facilitate queue management. Officials said state police will be allowed to enter the booth only under extreme cases when the presiding officer seeks so.

Similarly for every mobile unit of central forces, one state police person will be assisting them in travel.

Officials said increased availability of security forces has been made possible as jawans, who were deployed in Assam where voting has ended, have now been shifted to West Bengal.

To increase the visibility of paramilitary personnel, a flex has been put on the vehicles clearly stating 'Central Forces'. Additionally a hooter or siren has also been placed on their vehicles.

Another outer ring of security has been formed comprising quick response teams, flying squads, sector forces, mobile high radio flying squads, etc.

In the third phase of polling for 62 seats spread across Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan districts and north Kolkata tomorrow, additional confidence building measures are being implemented in 3,401 vulnerable hamlets.

In this phase there are 1,283 sectoral force teams, 194 mobile response teams, 190 flying squads and 197 static surveillance teams, the officials said.

'Nakabandi' points have been also created at 220 places. Besides this, webcasting, videography and digital cameras are being used in many critical polling stations to monitor the occurrence of any undesirable activity.

Armed with cameras and GPS systems, more than 20 vehicles will do surveillance of critical areas as part of a live monitoring system (LMS) exercise.

In the run up to the third phase of polls, authorities have so far seized 5.5 lakh of illicit liquor and fake currency of Rs 9 lakh face value.

Over 450 illegal arms, 529 pieces of ammunition, 2,624 bombs and around 350 kg of explosives have also been seized. More than 5,800 licensed arms have been deposited with the police, as it is mandatory to do so after elections are announced.

During election expenditure monitoring exercise, Rs 2.2 crore have been seized by flying squads, static surveillance teams and police.

Over 2000 non-bailable warrants are pending to be executed while over 28,000 have been executed since the poll process began, the officials added.

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Updated Date: Apr 20, 2016 15:17:24 IST

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