Special Correspondent

“All the 36 companies would be on booth duty”

KOLKATA: Unprecedented security arrangements are being put in place for the upcoming civic elections in West Bengal. Certain areas in almost every one of the 15 districts as well as the State capital, where municipal elections are to be held on May 30, have been identified as sensitive and a master plan has been worked out to put in place a multi-level security machinery.

This would be the first time that Central forces are planned to be deployed for a civic election.

At least one of the areas identified as sensitive is partly within a Maoist stronghold in Purulia district, while a few others in Paschim Medinipur district are in the peripheral areas of the Left Wing Extremism-affected areas.

Industrial areas and city fringes are also being treated as sensitive.

Talking to reporters at the Secretariat, on Wednesday, West Bengal Inspector-General and Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh said nearly 33,000 policemen would be deployed all over the State.

The State would also get 36 companies of Central police forces.

Raids to recover illegal arms and ammunitions will also start soon, he said. There would be two armed police in every booth.

“All Central police forces would be on booth duty,” he added.

Admitting that this scale of preparations was unprecedented, Mr. Singh said in case the Central forces arrive early then they may go on area-domination marches.

He added that while maximum security would be laid out for the areas of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation which fall within the jurisdiction of the State police (in South 24 Parganas) comprising Level I security, “elaborate arrangements are to be put in place for the Salt Lake area.”

Security measures would also be put in place in the industrial areas in Hooghly and Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas.