At least 12 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) reached West Bengal on Saturday morning as the state prepares to go to elections, officials said.
Two companies of the central forces reached Durgapur by train, one company got down at Burdwan and five companies reached Dankuni in Howrah, they said.
Another four companies reached the Kolkata railway station in the Chitpore area by train, officials said.
"The forces were brought in from Jammu and Kashmir. They will be heading towards the areas where they have been assigned to," a poll panel official told PTI.
At the railway stations, senior officers of the CRPF and the West Bengal Police were present to welcome the forces.
The Election Commission has decided to deploy 125 companies of central forces in West Bengal by February 25 for the upcoming assembly elections.
Sixty companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 30 companies of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and five companies each of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will reach the state in the next few days, officials said.
"The idea to deploy central forces now is to ensure that there is no problem when campaigning for the elections starts. This deployment is also to build the confidence of the voters.
"Stress will be on area domination by the forces, especially in the sensitive zones," the official said.
Apart from route march, the central forces will also be patrolling in the night, he added.
The Election Commission has decided to deploy three companies of SSB in Kolkata, four companies of CRPF in the neighbouring Howrah Police Commissionerate area, and two companies in Howrah's rural area for the time being, the official said.
A maximum of nine companies of CRPF each have been planned for Purulia and Jhargram districts.
The security personnel will send daily reports to the Chief Electoral Officer by 8 pm.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are likely in April-May.
25,000 CAPF personnel earmarked for polls in 4 states, 1 UT
New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) At least 25,000 Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel have been earmarked to be deployed for the forthcoming assembly polls in four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry, officials said on Saturday.
They said the Union home ministry has directed that a total of 250 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) will be utilised for conduct of the upcoming elections.
A CAPF company has an operational strength of about 100 personnel. These forces work under the command of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Assembly polls in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are due in April-May this year.
Officials said while 125 companies are being moved to West Bengal, 45 are earmarked for Tamil Nadu, 40 for Assam, 30 for Kerala and 10 for Puducherry.
"These numbers are based on the preliminary assessment that was undertaken by the Election Commission after its meeting with senior home ministry officials sometime back.
"Some addition in numbers many take place once the EC announces the final dates for polls and the number of phases," a senior officer privy to the development told PTI.
About 75 more companies are kept on standby and they will be pulled in for the polls duty once their requirement is felt, he said.
The largest chunk of the forces, from the 250 companies umbrella, are drawn from the CRPF (85 companies) followed by the BSF (60 companies) and the ITBP (40 companies) apart from the other two CAPFs, they said.
Officials said the forces have been asked to be initiate a phase-wise movement and 'pre-positioning' of their companies so that the overall deployment is carried out smoothly.
At least 12 CAPF companies have reached West Bengal till now.
The officer said every CAPF has assigned a nodal officer for movement of their respective units and the overall coordination between the EC, MHA and the state chief electoral officers (CEOs) will be done by the CRPF. PTI NES