Punjab Polls: Huge deployment of central forces for Feb 20 elections

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Amid threats from Khalistani and Pakistan supported terror outfits, the Centre has decided to deploy a large number of security forces in Punjab for the forthcoming Assembly elections scheduled on February 20.

According to sources in the security set up, around 455 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) will be deployed in the border state, and the process of deployment has already begun.

This would be in addition to Punjab police personnel who will be responsible for managing the law and order situation in the state.

The sources also said that over 200 companies have already reached Punjab for election duty, while the rest of the forces will be deployed in the state latest by February 16.

The 455 companies of paramilitary forces include 150 companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 162 companies of Border Security Force (BSF), 80 companies of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and companies from other paramilitary forces such as Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

The sources also said that the paramilitary forces deployed in Uttarakhand for the Assembly polls there will be diverted to Punjab. The single-phase polling in Uttarakhand was held on Monday.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the DGs of CAPFs to appoint a nodal officer in each force who will be coordinating with the state authorities for force deployment.

Meanwhile, the BSF has stepped up security on the western border and the frequency of border patrolling has been increased.

The MHA has also asked the security forces to keep 50 companies of CRPF, BSF and ITBP on standby, which may be deployed in Punjab if needed.

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