Indian paramilitary forces unload equipment upon arriving at Chitpur Yard railway station in Kolkata on Saturday.
Indian paramilitary forces unload equipment upon arriving at Chitpur Yard railway station in Kolkata on Saturday.
–AFP

New Delhi

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.

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