WB Panchayat Polls: Security Beefs Up In The State

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

The state has been keeping a track on the law and order scenario in the run-up to the panchayat polls and is sensing trouble at several could occur in many areas before the polls. All the hotels, stadiums are under the surveillance of Police. the Ending speculation, the State Election Commission (SEC) announced that the panchayat polls in West Bengal will be held on May 14.

The West Bengal State Election Commission asked to seal the border area over the security issue of panchayat polls. The counting will take place on May 17 and repolling, if any, will be held the day before, SEC secretary Nilanjan Shandilya told reporters here. 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.

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

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

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