About 90 more companies will standby. The largest chunk of the forces of over 350 companies are drawn from the CRPF, followed by the BSF (300) and CISF (200). CRPF is the nodal agency for deployment of central forces and will coordinate with state agencies for moving contingents in West Bengal and Assam, said officials.
According to officials, the number of maximum deployment of central forces will be for the fourth phase of voting on April 10 in West Bengal. Bihar’s 3-phase polls in October saw deployment of nearly 325 companies.
CAPFs are not deployed less than half section strength in normal areas, whereas in Maoist or hypersensitive booths, the minimum strength is not less than 1 section which on an average consists of 10 personnel, as per SOPs. “A single company of the forces has an operational strength of about 100 personnel.
CAPF can be deployed in advance to prevent violence, with the aim of area domination and conducting route marches and other confidence building measures,” said a senior home ministry official. Critical polling stations are also covered by CCTVs, video and still cameras and web casting allocation of force to polling stations, according to election commission guidelines. “Every CAPF team is provided with a representative of the local police, trained at deployment locations to familiarise with the terrain, polling area and tactics,” the guidelines say.