According to the new guidelines, the state police were relegated only to the middle of the three-cordon set up at polling booths. The outer and the inner would be manned by central forces.
Kolkata: In a big jolt to miscreants disrupting polls, who have often been alleged to be goons from ruling Trinamool's own stables, the Election Commission on Tuesday decided to post paramilitary and central forces at each and every booth that goes to polls in the remaining three phases in Bengal.
According to the new guidelines, the state police were relegated only to the middle of the three-cordon set up at polling booths. The outer and the inner would be manned by central forces. This means that the state police force would be forced to play mere assistants to the central forces and would not come into direct contact with voters. Moreover, they will neither check the voter I-cards nor be in the vicinity while the voting is going on.
The decision was taken after sporadic incidents of violence and disruption marred the past phases in 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Bengal. The BJP too had complained to the EC in this regard on numerous occasions.
According to the special security observer for Bengal, ex-IPS officer Vivek Dubey, an additional batch of 578 companies of central forces are being mobilised in the state to ensure free and fair polls in the remaining three phases.
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Last Updated 1, May 2019, 12:11 PM