125 CAPF companies in Bengal for ‘area domination’

Amid run-up to the Assembly polls in West Bengal, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has pressed 125 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the state for “advance area domination” to ensure peaceful conduct of the five yearly exercise expected to be held in April or May.

The deployment almost completed on Monday following the Ministry’s deployment order to depute five CAPFs by February 22.

Of the 125 CAPF companies (around 13,000 personnel), the maximum of 60 companies are drawn from Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 30 from Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), 25 from Border Security Force (BSF), and five each from Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

In a statement on Monday, Election Commission said that the deployment of the CAPF is just a routine process and it is adopted before the Assembly or general elections to ensure peaceful environment in the state or Union Territory (UT) and also to help the state law enforcement agencies as well as police force to maintain law and order.

“Central Police Forces (CPFs) are routinely sent to all the states and UTs where Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha elections are to take place,” said the Commission.

The deployment of these forces in West Bengal, the Commission said, are aimed at advance area domination, especially in the critical and vulnerable sectors which are identified by meticulous advance reviews and concrete feedback from various sources including political parties and entities.

“This practice is going on since late 1980s.”

During Lok Sabha elections 2019 also, the Commission said, Central forces were sent to all states and UTs and the same has been done in all state elections which have been taking place.

“In the instant case also the CPFs have been sent to all the four states namely Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UT of Puducherry where Assembly elections are to take place.”

The orders for CPF deployment were issued to the Chief Secretaries, the Director General of Police’s and the Chief Electoral Officers of these five states and UTs on the same day.