Bengal polls 2016: Central forces arrive in state even before dates are announced

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Kolkata, Feb 29: Central forces started arriving in West Bengal, the state which will go to Assembly elections in a few months, on Monday. Two companies of forces reached Kolkata, the state capital, and Raiganj in North Dinajpur district during the day. The personnel were also seen conducting flag march in various parts of the city. The company of personnel which has arrived in Kolkata will familiarise itself with 17 Assembly constituencies in Kolkata, the sources added.

In an unprecedented move, the authorities decided to deploy as many as 200 companies of Central Para Military Forces to the state on the first week of March, even before the dates of the elections have been announced.

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West Bengal Police authorities said they received a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs specifying that 100 companies of CRPF will reach the state on March 1. Another 100 companies of central forces will reach the state on March 7, the police authorities said.

MHA sources said the central forces would be deployed across the state, which is known for political violence, to get full control of the administration ahead of the polls.

Two-hundred and ninety-four seats of West Bengal will go to polls in a multi-phase election in April and May.

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