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Assembly elections: MHA instructs CAPF to strictly follow Covid protocols

Worried over soaring COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs has instructed Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) on election duty in five poll-bound states to strictly follow safety protocols.

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Assembly elections | Home Ministry

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Worried over soaring COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs has instructed Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) on election duty in five poll-bound states to strictly follow safety protocols.

A senior MHA official on Friday said that CAPFs have been asked to brief the officers on the ground regarding the safety and security of their men deployed in five poll-bound states- Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur to prevent them from getting infected.

To ensure COVID-19 protocols like social distancing are followed, more polling booths will be created which will require the deployment of more security personnel.

CAPF has raised concern over the safety of its personnel during movement in poll-bound states especially in Uttar Pradesh where polls will be conducted in phases in districts and local police or district administration takes care of food, lodging and transportation of CAPF personnel.

The MHA official informed that instructions have been issued to complete the process of precautionary dose for all eligible CAPF personnel at the earliest. Company Commanders have been instructed to ensure social distancing in camps, arrangements of isolation bed if possible, mask and sanitizer.

A senior CAPF officer said that the movement of personnel has started and the first batch for election duty for pre-poll arrangements has already been deployed. The next batch will soon be reaching for election duty, he added.

"For movement of patrolling teams during polls, private vehicle along with driver is provided by the district administration to avoid compromise with the safety bar maintained by the personnel," he said.

The CRPF officer said that the company Commander will coordinate with the head of district police or administration to ensure sanitized vehicles for their movement and fully vaccinated drivers are provided.

"We have asked on ground officers to ensure the highest level of safety protocols for personnel. And officers will personally visit the camps or their place of stay to ensure proper facilities on the ground. In case of any emergency, the personnel will be taken to the nearest COVID-19 care facility," he added.

On Thursday, around 30 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel deployed on election duty in Uttarakhand's Kotdwar assembly constituency tested positive for COVID-19.

At present, around 4,400 CAPF personnel in the country are infected with COVID-19. These include both CISF and CRPF personnel, with more cases reported in CISF.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, January 14 2022. 15:31 IST