New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) Saturday directed the Union Home Ministry to deploy 71 additional companies of Central Armed Police forces (CAPFs) in West Bengal for the conduct of the remaining four phases of polls, official sources said.
The order comes in the backdrop of multiple incidents of poll violence in the state, including the one on Saturday in Cooch Behar where police said four people were killed in firing by CISF personnel, who had retaliated after allegedly being attacked.
Senior officials said the poll panel has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to rush in and deploy the fresh companies “immediately”.
Till now, a total of 1,000 companies were earmarked for the conduct of elections in the state that has 294 assembly seats.
The new companies are drawn from the BSF (33), ITBP (13), CRPF (12), SSB (9) and CISF (4).
A CAPF company has an operational strength of about 85 personnel.
West Bengal voted in its fourth phase of polls Saturday as part of the eight-phase polling.
The next phase of polls is scheduled on April 17 followed by April 22, 26 and 29.