Kolkata Police chalks out elaborate plan for city civic polls

India on 16 April 2015
Location : Kolkata, India | Source : Zee News; Image Source: Creative Commons

Kolkata: The Kolkata Police has drawn up an elaborate plan to deploy a 15,000-strong force and made arrangements for surveillance by drones for the April 18 election to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

Five Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, would be put to use, besides 280 special police pickets and 218 sector mobile units to ensure security during the polling process, Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha said.

After an internal meeting of the city police, Purakayastha said that 15,000 policemen would be joined by a 5,000-strong force from the state police to conduct the poll.

The deployment would begin from April 16 at the end of the poll campaign and would remain till the election process is over.

Apart from its central control room at Lalbazar city police headquarters, three additional control rooms would be opened during the election at Jadavpur, Pragati Maidan on EM Bypass and Behala, he said.

The WBSEC, however, is not aware of the availability of central forces.

"It could have been much easier to instill confidence among the voters had the forces been deployed. With the Centre turning down West Bengal's plea for central forces for the upcoming civic elections, no other alternative is left but to conduct the election with the help of state forces alone," State Election Commissioner S R Upadhyay told PTI.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the state Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee, the SEC enquired if any central force, already deployed in various capacities, could be available for poll duty.

"But no communication I have received as yet confirming availability of any company of central forces already posted in the state," he said.

Purakayastha, however, said that if three companies of central forces as reported were available, they would be mobilised for patrolling and route march.

The SEC said, "The law and order is a state subject and it is the responsibility of the state government to see that the polling is conducted peacefully."

To a question, he said the WBSEC would strengthen its surveillance through webcam in 640 polling premises, 320 in Kolkata and the rest 320 in districts, while video cameras would be used in a large number of booths.

Opposition parties in West Bengal have been demanding deployment of central forces for the municipal elections in the state for conducting peaceful polls.

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