Agartala, Jan 14: Two battalions of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) will be deployed in the upcoming Punjab and Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, an official said here on Saturday. "Two battalions of TSR personnel led by Commandants Pinaki Samanta and Kerry Marak left here on Friday for Punjab," a Tripura home department official told.
He said "The TSR personnel would be posted in Punjab according to the direction of the Election Commission and after the Punjab assembly elections they would move to Uttar Pradesh." The official said that following the request of the union home ministry the counter-insurgency trained force has been sent to the two states.
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Assembly elections in Punjab will take place on February 4 while Uttar Pradesh would go to the polls in seven phases between February 11 and March 8. "Besides providing security during Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010, the India Reserve (IR) battalions of TSR were earlier sent to Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Nagaland and Mizoram to provide security during polls," the official said.
The TSR battalions, trained in anti-insurgency operations, were constituted in March 1984 to deal with terrorism. Seventy five per cent of the troopers are from Tripura while the remaining are from across the country. There are 12 TSR battalions in the state, of which nine are India Reserve battalions, which means they can be deployed anywhere in India by the Home Ministry. The central government has approved the raising of three more TSR battalions.
"The TSR has been modelled on the pattern of Border Security Force and Assam Rifles. It has played an important role in curbing four and a half decades old terrorism in Tripura," the official added.