WB Panchayat Polls: Armed Police Forces To Come From 4 States For Providing Security

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Kolkata: In order to beef up security arrangements ahead of the panchayat polls, the team of armed force is coming to the state. The state has started training of the civic volunteers for May 14th.

“Almost 2000 Police are coming from Andhra, Odisha, Telengana and Sikkim in order to beef up security arrangements ahead of the panchayat polls,” Trinamool Congress secretary (General) Partha Chatterjee said in a press conference in kollkata.

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Earlier West Bengal administration sent letters to state governments of Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab seeking additional police forces for providing security cover to the 58,000 polling booths where panchayat elections would be held on May 14.

The decision was taken after a shortfall of almost 38,000 armed personnel was assessed by the administration. While the State Election Commission reportedly wants to deploy one armed personnel in each of the 58,467 polling booths, it also wants a company (comprising 80 personnel) of armed personnel to patrol each of the 330 blocks of the state during election.

The counting will take place on May 17 and repolling, if any, will be held the day before, SEC secretary Nilanjan Shandilya told reporters. The SEC’s announcement followed the Supreme Court direction to the state poll panel to ensure “free and fair” panchayat elections on May 14 in the state.

However, Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purakayasta said that the additional forces from the four states would be used only for ‘back up’.

Shandilya said elections will be held in 621 zila parishads, 6157 panchayat samitis besides 31,827 gram panchayats.

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