In response to the unabated violence during the first four phases of voting in West Bengal, the Election Commission of India (EC) has decided to supplant the state police personnel with the central forces inside all polling booths in the fifth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, reports India Today.
In the fifth phase, seven Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal will undergo polling, for which the role of state police personnel will be limited to manning the areas outside the polling booths.
State police will, however, be engaged in other poll booth-related duties like ensuring voters are lined up in queues and law and order is maintained outside polling booths.
For this purpose, a total of 578 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are being mobilised, said the special police observer for West Bengal, Vivek Dubey. Also, 142 Quick Response Teams (QRTs) of the CAPF will be on standby to reach any place where any disruption of law and order takes place in the state.
This development gains significance as just days before a delegation led by senior BJP leaders and Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Vijay Goel had requested the EC to deploy central forces in West Bengal after repeated instances of heightened violence had been reported from the state, also leading to attack on the vehicle of BJP candidate from Asansol, Babul Supriyo.
Meanwhile in Dubrajpur area, the CAPF personnel reportedly opened fire in the air to disperse the people who attacked them when they were barred from entering the booths with mobile phones.
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