Elaborate security for May 14 polls

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Barasat, May 8: At least 90 per cent of the nearly 3,800 booths for the May 14 Panchayat elections in North 24 Parganas district have been declared 'sensitive'.

''These include 2,087 as hypersensitive,''District Magistrate Prabhat Mishra, who is also the District Returning Officer, said last night.

He said elaborate security arrangements had been made apart from deploying about 27,000 polling personnel.

Polling would be held in 3,531 seats in the three-tier panchayat here in the second phase. Panchayat polls start in the state on May 11. The last phase polling is on May 18.

According to the DM, altogether 26,06,180 electorate will cast their votes in North 24 Parganas.

Of all the 8,904 candidates, 45 have already won uncontested in Village Panchayat and Panchayat Samity seat, Mr Mishra added.

Although the election authorities have declared most booths as 'hypersensitive', the police is yet to deploy paramilitary or armed police personnel from Kerala and Orissa, who had been allocated for the purpose. Instead, the booths are being manned by 5,000 West Bengal police personnel, besides more than 800 police officers and 8,000 National Voluntary Forces and Home Guards, including 7,000 being recruited temporarily from the district.

Police said the home guards would be deployed only in the polling station premises and the services of a company of BSF and three companies of police from Kerala and Orissa would be utilised as mobile striking force under the guidance of Additional Superintendants or Sub-Divisional Police officers.

UNI

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