A record number of over 43,000 security personnel, comprising Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and state police would be deployed to provide security for the February 16 assembly polls in Tripura, officials said on Tuesday.
A senior police officer said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has agreed to provide 400 companies (30,000 security personnel) of CAPF for fair and violence-free assembly elections.
Besides the CAPF, comprising Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, around 8,000 TSR jawans and over 5,000 Tripura police personnel would also be deployed, the official told IANS.
He said that 200 companies of CAPF had already arrived in Tripura and been deployed in different parts of the state, while 200 more companies of CAPF would arrive by the first week of February.
The official said that the CAPFs were deployed for area domination, patrolling, flag march, vehicular patrolling, Naka duty, raids apart from counter insurgency operations.
According to the official, after the announcement of the Assembly election schedule by the Election Commission on January 18, a total number of 192 Naka points (check gate) have been established in various strategic locations.
“Naka checking is going on regularly in all naka points. Special vehicle checking is also going on. A special drive for vehicle checking was launched and over 11,000 vehicles were checked as part of the preventive action,” the official said.
In order to maintain a sense of security among the people in the state, so far more than 1,700 flag marches and area domination patrolling have been done with joint participation of state police, TSR and CAPF, he stated.
A senior election official said that the Border Security Force (BSF),who are posted along the Bangladesh borders, would not only intensify their vigil but also keep in touch with their counterparts — Border Guards Bangladesh — from across the frontiers to prevent any kind of illegal entry into India.
“BSF would convene meetings immediately with their counterparts to sensitise them to take a more vigilant approach considering the ensuing assembly elections in Tripura.”
Three special observers of the Election Commission visited Tripura for five days and reviewed the February 16 poll preparedness and security arrangements
The three special observers are Yogendra Tripathy, a retired IAS officer of Karnataka cadre; Vivek Johri, former Director General of Police of Madhya Pradesh; and B. Murali Kumar, an IRS officer, who was special observer in the Assembly elections of Gujarat (2022) and West Bengal (2021).
The observers directed that drones should be used for detection of marijuana plantations and other enforcement measures wherever possible, the official said.