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WB seeks forces from neighbours to manage panchayat polls

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Press Trust of India Kolkata
The West Bengal government today sought security forces from four to five neighbouring states to manage the panchayat elections that would be held on May 14 in a single phase.
Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha, however, neither named the states nor mentioned the type of security forces being sought.
"West Bengal Police have gained in strength and we are capable of ensuring adequate arrangements for the elections. But still, for full backup, we have sought additional forces from four to five states," Kar Purkayastha told reporters at the state secretariat today.
The State Election Commission (SEC) that yesterday fixed May 14 as the date of panchayat polls, is now faced with the task of providing security to 58,467 polling booths spread across the state.
In addition to around 46,000 personnel of the state police and 12,000 of the Kolkata Police, the state government would use close to 2,000 security personnel from the departments of excise, prison and forest in manning the booths, official sources said.
Kar Purkayastha said the state was doing everything to put up adequate arrangements for the elections.
"We will have armed coverage for every premises where the polling will be conducted. We want a peaceful election and for that we seek everybody's cooperation," he said.
The panchayat election will be held in one phase on May 14 and any re-poll, if needed, will be held on May 16. The date of counting will be notified later.
SEC Secretary Nilanjan Shandilya yesterday said the poll panel had requested the state government to make sufficient security arrangements to ensure a free and fair poll.

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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 8:35 PM IST

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