Centre to provide 165 companies of CPF for Tripura polls

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Agartala, Jan 23 (UNI) The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has agreed to provide 165 companies of additional Central Paramilitary Force (CPF) to Tripura for the February 23 assembly elections.

Official sources said here today that the state government had sought 200 companies of additional forces but the Election Commission of India(ECI) indicated that 170 companies would be made available for the purpose.

After reviewing the law and order situation in poll-bound states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland with respective poll panels and DGPs, the MHA yesterday decided to send additional 165 companies of Paramilitary Forces and said the force would start moving with the election notification on January 30.

Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, during his recent visit, had assured the government that the EC would arrange adequate security forces to conduct the election peacefully.

An additional 165 companies of CRPF will start arriving in the state within next one week and full deployment will be completed within February 15, said additional Director General of Police, Mr Balasubramanian here today.

Mr Balasubramanian said in order to ensure free and fair polls, all polling booths and counting centres will be manned by the CPF while the Assam Riffles and TSR will be deployed for counter insurgency operations. The BSF will enhance its presence along the Indo-Bangla border in the run up to the election. The state police will be engaged in law and order duty.

At present Tripura has 54 companies of CPF, other than state police and BSF battalions and the additional 165 companies of CPF would be sufficient for free and fair elections in the state, state home department officials said.

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