Elaborate security arrangements in Bengal

Kolkata: Following the spate of violence in Kolkata ahead of the final phase of Lok Sabha polls where campaigning was stopped 20 hours before scheduled time, 710 companies of central forces, 461 Quick Response Teams (QRT) and state police were deployed for Sunday’s polling in West Bengal.

“All the security-related arrangements have been completed. Measures are in place taking all the factors under considerations,” Ajay V. Nayak, special observer for West Bengal said on Saturday.

“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC has been clamped up to a distance of 200 metres from the polling stations. Violation of this order may result in three years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine, Central Police Observer Vivek Dubey said.

He said the 710 companies of central forces will provide 100 per cent static postings at all the 17,058 polling booths.

In addition, 461 QRTs headed by an Assistant commandant of central forces will also support, Dubey added.

Kolkata Police itself will have 178 QRTs. The QRTs have been instructed to reach a scene of trouble in five to seven minutes. The response time will not exceed 15 minutes, Dubey said.

A civic constable has been attached as a guide and liaison officer to each QRT. In all the nine parliamentary constituencies they would be ready to strike or raid the targeted joints and take rowdies into custody, Dubey said.

Route marches werere being continued in vulnerable areas as confidence-building measures.

The city police were seen checking various hotels to see ‘purpose of the visitors’ staying there. Police is alert at all check points in and out of the state.

Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata South, and Kolkata North will vote on May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.