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Bypolls: EC to deploy 80 companies of CAPF

The 27 companies comprised eight of CRPF, nine of BSF and five each of CISF and SSB while 53 companies would comprise 10 of CRPF, 25 of BSF, five each  of CISF and SSB and eight of ITBP.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

The Election Commission has decided to deploy a total of 80 companies of central forces for the 30 October byelections in four seats of West Bengal of which highest deployment would be made for Dinhata in Cooch Behar.

According to an official, EC is being more cautious in posting central forces in Cooch Behar district, where four persons died in an alleged CISF firing near a Sitalkuchi booth on 10 April during the Assembly elections. Sources said 24 companies of CAPF would be deployed in Dinhata, 20 in Gosaba in South 24 Parganas, 19 in Santipur in Nadia and 17 in Khardah in North 24 Parganas.

Initially, EC had decided to engage 27 companies but has deployed an additional 53 companies yesterday. The 27 companies comprised eight of CRPF, nine of BSF and five each of CISF and SSB while 53 companies would comprise 10 of CRPF, 25 of BSF, five each of CISF and SSB and eight of ITBP.

The additional 53 companies of CAPF would be inducted a week before the bypolls. Out of the 80 companies of CAPF, eight companies shall be retained up to 2 November for guarding strong rooms and counting centres while the remaining 72 companies shall be de-inducted from the state after completion of polls on 30 October, said an official.

The Gosaba seat went vacant following the death of Trinamul Congress MLA Jayanta Naskar. In Khardah seat, Trinamul’s winning candidate Kajal Sinha died of Covid before the Assembly poll results were announced on 2 May. State agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who stepped down as Bhowanipore MLA to make way for chief minister Mamata Banerjee, has filed his nomination from Khardah.

BJP MP Nisith Pramanik had contested from Dinhata and won by 57 votes against Udayan Guha of Trinamul Congress but he resigned from the Assembly and is now Union minister of state for Home. Next, BJP’s Jagannath Sarkar won from Santipur, but chose to remain a Lok Sabha MP