Heavy security deployment for fifth phase of polls in West Bengal

To pre-empt chances of violence during fifth phase of polling in West Bengal tomorrow, a strong contingent of 90,000 personnel of central and state police forces have been deployed in three poll-bound districts of the state.

 

 

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Kolkata, Apr 29: To pre-empt chances of violence during fifth phase of polling in West Bengal tomorrow, a strong contingent of 90,000 personnel of central and state police forces have been deployed in three poll-bound districts of the state. Election Commission officials said they have deployed around 680 companies of central police forces and over 20,000 state police personnel in over 53 constituencies of South 24 Parganas, Kolkata South and Hooghly districts going to the hustings tomorrow in the fifth phase of polling.

In two parts of the first phase of polling on April 5 and 11, only 400 companies of central forces were available as polling was simultaneously going on in neighbouring Assam. From the second phase onwards, over 700 companies of central paramilitary forces have been pressed into service.

After polling ends in one phase, they move on to take up confidence building measures for the next phase, officials said. Kolkata South alone, which has four assembly constituencies, will have around 110 companies of central forces. Two police observers, IAS officers from other states, have been earmarked for each of the three districts who will monitor the law and order situation and report to the commission.

The poll watchdog has identified 2,685 vulnerable hamlets in South 24 Parganas, 1,605 in Kolkata South and 1,008 in Hooghly. Around 4,000 voters have been identified as vulnerable, based on complaints received from them. Action has been taken against close to 3,000 trouble mongers, they said. Altogether 34 general observers will be on the job to monitor the entire polling exercise. They will be assisted by a team of 823 micro-observers.

Under the instructions of the commission, the police has so far seized over 98.4 lakh litres of different types of illicit liquor from these poll-bound areas. Fake Indian currency with a face value of about Rs 1.5 lakh was also seized, officials said. A number of arms, ammunition, bombs and explosives have also been confiscated in the area ever since elections were announced.

In cases relating to expenditure monitoring of candidates to curb the use of black money in electioneering, cash of over Rs 1.3 crore have so far been seized by the authorities. For additional security, over 1,000 units of sector forces will also be distributed throughout the three districts.

219 teams of heavy radio flying squad, 225 quick response teams, 346 mobile response teams, 146 flying squads and 136 motorcycle mobile units will also be on guard during polling. Naka points will be put up at 246 places while 158 static surveillance teams will also be on the job. Monitoring will also be done using web cameras, CCTVs, digital cameras and camera-fitted vehicles which will survey all sensitive areas.

 


Heavy security deployment for fifth phase of polls in West Bengal
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