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In a major setback for the West Bengal Police and the state regime, the EC has decided to side line the Bengal police. From next phase onwards, no Bengal police constable/officer will be present in the booth. Only home guards will be present to maintain line. All booths will be manned by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) only.

West Bengal has seen poll-related violence in each of the four phases of voting that have taken place so far. While a large number of locals had threatened to boycott elections unless central forces are deployed, poll officials too demanded that security be assured for a peaceful election here.

Now, as many as 660 companies of Central Armed Police Force will be on duty to maintain law and order across polling stations in West Bengal for the remaining three phases of voting. It is further reported that this number may be increased to 700 – the highest ever in West Bengal’s history for a single phase. A number of CAPF companies will especially be deployed in constituencies in Maoist-infested/western zone districts of Bengal like East, West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia & Jhargram which goes to polls in the sixth phase. This is to prevent any pre-poll violence in the area.

As many as 660 coys of CAPF to be deployed in fifth phase of polls in Bengal. The number maybe increased to 700, highest in Bengal’s history for a single phase.

CAPF is being deployed in constituencies in Maoist-infested/western zone districts of Bengal like East, West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia & Jhargram which goes to polls in the 6th phase. This is to prevent any pre-poll violence in the area. EC has decided to deploy CAPF in all constituencies that goes to polls in fifth phase as well as the districts that goes to polls in sixth phase.

The Trinamool Congress has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI), alleging that the Central forces deployed on election duty are acting at the behest of BJP leaders and have created terror in the minds of voters and forcing them to cast their votes in favour of the BJP.

The party alleged that the Central forces are acting in such a manner which is not conducive for a free and fair election in West Bengal.

“…Since after the deployment of central forces there was various instances where at the instruction of the leaders of the BJP, the Central Forces have acted in a manner which is not conducive to free and fair election within the state of West Bengal. During earlier phases of election, complaints were filed against such Central forces, but no action has been taken,” read the complaint to the EC, given on Monday.

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