Paramilitary forces start arriving in UP for first phase of poll

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Companies of para-military forces have started arriving in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the first phase of the Assembly election on February 10, security sources said on Tuesday.

According to the Union Home Ministry order issued on January 6, a total of 150 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) has been allocated to the UP administration for ‘area domination’ in the state for conducting safe and peaceful Assembly polls.

A total of 50 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force, 30 each from the Border Security Force and the Sashastra Seema Bal, and 20 each from the Central Industrial Security Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, have been allocated to UP as of now, the officials in the Ministry said, adding that rest will be dispatched soon. More companies of para-military forces will be sent to UP as the election process is spread across seven phases.

The state government has started the induction of these companies to various districts to assist the local administration in 75 districts for law and order and area domination.

State government officials have informed that over 100 companies have arrived in the state while the rest will shortly follow in a phased manner. The state administration has allocated four companies of the CRPF to the Prayagraj district while three CISF companies have been deployed in Agra district, three CRPF companies for Aligarh, and so on. It has not deployed mixed companies of CAPFs but deputed only one force in a district.

The Union Home Ministry, in consultation with the Election Commission, and the governments of all five poll-bound states, decided to provide around 650 companies of para-military forces, Ministry sources isaid, adding that apart from 650 companies, additional personnel will be kept on standby in the neighbouring states, if needed.

Taking the rapid increase in the number of Covid cases in the third wave into consideration, CAPF officials said that additional troopers have been kept ready and in case, personnel of a company get infected, the entire unit will be isolated and withdrawn from the electioneering process.

The state government has also been asked to arrange spacious premises for central security personnel during the poll duty and also set polling booths in larger premises so that Covid protocols could be followed properly, the officials added.

All eligible troopers in the entire para-military forces getting deputed for election duty in five states, have been administered booster doses and the security personnel have also been asked to wear masks, use sanitisers, and maintain social distance while performing their duties, the CAPF officials said.

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