Bengal Panchayat Polls: State Govt Keen On Police From Other States Rather Than Central Forces

(MENAFN- IANS) Kolkata, June 10 (IANS) Despite the Opposition parties demanding deployment of central armed forces during the forthcoming panchayat polls in West Bengal, the state government is batting for personnel from the state police forces.
The state government has to give its opinion on the deployment of central forces as demanded by the opposition to a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday. In all probability, the state government will bat for personnel from other state forces and not central forces, as per sources.
A highly placed state government official said that during the meeting of the state election commissioner Rajiva Sinha with top bureaucrats and police officials of the state on Saturday, the state government representatives voiced against the requirement of central armed forces.
"In the meeting, the state police representatives outlined the blueprint of ensuring presence of armed police from the state's own forces first and covering the remainder with personnel from other state police forces. Already discussions are on to identify the state government from whom personnel from their respective police departments can be sought. For the sake of convenience, plans are mainly to ask for forces from West Bengal's neighbouring states like Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand," the state government official said.
The office of state election commission has already directed the district police superintendents to identify the sensitive booths in the respective districts. The commission has already banned motorcycle rallies in the campaign for the rural civic body polls this year.
Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari alleged on Saturday morning that the state government is planning to deploy civic volunteers for security purposes in the panchayat polls.
According to him, the state home department is planning to deploy civic volunteers posing as police personnel, by making them wear uniforms resembling the ones worn by the police.
He alleged that the civic volunteers would be interchanged between districts; especially in the sensitive districts like Jalpaiguri, East Midnapore , North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Birbhum, so that they cannot be identified.



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