225 central security forces companies to be deployed in UP for polls

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New Delhi: The Centre has ordered deployment of 225 companies or around 25,000 personnel of central paramilitary forces in Uttar Pradesh for assembly elections, according to a home ministry communication issued on Sunday.

Polling dates for the state were announced by the election commission (EC) on Saturday — Voting will be held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7.

“In pursuance of the recommendations of the ECI (Election Commission of India), it has been decided in the ministry to initially deploy 225 companies of CAPFs in Uttar Pradesh for area domination and confidence building measures to ensure peaceful conduct of assembly elections – 2022,” reads the MHA communication, seen by HT.

People familiar with the development said initially 225 companies are being sent to the state, which is sensitive in terms of law-and-order situation during elections. More companies would be sent later depending on the ground situation and to assist Uttar Pradesh police, officials said.

The election in Uttar Pradesh is the most complicated of the five states up for polls this year, with identity politics (religion and caste) likely to be the deciding factor.

Officials cited above said the force deployment for other states — Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand — is also being finalised.

The 225 companies being sent to UP will comprise of 70 companies of central reserve police force (CRPF), 66 companies of border security force, 39 companies of the sashastra seema dal (SSB), and 25 companies each of the central industrial security force (CISF) and indo-tibetan border police (ITBP). A company usually has 110 to 120 personnel each in different forces.

They are being sent to the state in two phases – the first 150 companies will reach different districts by January 10 while 75 companies will be sent on January 20, according to the communication, reviewed by HT.

The home ministry has asked the UP government to work out a detailed deployment plan in consultation with the respective forces and chief force coordinator for UP, who is an Inspector General rank officer of CRPF.

The state government has also been asked to make arrangement for transportation, logistics and accommodation for the troops keeping Covid-19 safety also in mind.

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