AGARTALA, Jan 12 - Union Home Ministry will send 300 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to ensure free and fair elections in Tripura, according to official sources.
This will be the first time that one all-women company will also be engaged in election duties. The CAPF contingent will comprise of BSF, CRPF and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
The first lot comprising 25 companies of CAPF is scheduled to arrive in the State by Friday itself, while 50 more companies of Central forces will reach here by January 20, said Addl CEO Tapas Dey.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has agreed to arrange 300 companies of CAPF for the election scheduled to be held in February. Now, it is to be seen how many companies of Central force will actually come”, he said.
A meeting on security arrangements had already been held where all the DMs and SPs were briefed about availability of Central forces apart from State’s pool of 12 batallions of Tripura State Rifles, according to sources.
However, vulnerability of polling stations have not been finalised yet as assessment is still going on.
It is confirmed that ITBP jawans will be deployed in Sepahijala district, a politically sensitive border district. Some patches of international border still remains unfenced in Sonamura subdivision of Sepahijala district posing a security threat. Keeping this in mind, the State Election machinery has decided to deploy the ITBP along with BSF jawans to thwart any intrusion bid from across the border.
When contacted, District Magistrate (DM), Sepahijala district PK Chakravarty today confirmed plan to deploy ITBP jawans in bordering areas to ensure foolproof security. “There will be tight security all around the polling booths and outside the polling stations”, he said.