Bengal Elections 2021: Election Commission directs MHA to deploy 71 more companies of Central Forces in Bengal

A total of five persons were killed in the fourth phase polling, including four in alleged firing by CISF personnel in Cooch Behar district of Bengal.

On Saturday, April 10, Election Commission directs Ministry of Home Affairs to deploy 71 more CAPF companies for upcoming four phases of elections in the West Bengal. In the fourth phase of the elections, a total of five persons were killed, including four in alleged firing by Central Reserve Force personnel.

The new companies comprise of the BSF (33), ITBP (13), CRPF (12), SSB (9) and CISF (4). A CAPF company has an operational strength of about 85 personnel. West Bengal voted on April 10th in the 4th phase as part of the eight-phase polling. The next phase of polls will take place on April 17 followed by April 22, 26 and 29.

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According to preliminary reports, four persons were killed as CISF personnel opened fire after coming under attack in a village. “A scuffle took place, and locals gheraoed them and attempted to snatch their rifles, following which the central forces opened fire. Further details are awaited,” a police official told PTI. The EC has sought a detailed report on the incident.

Earlier today, Election Commission banned entry of all politicians in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal for next 72 hours to prevent all unlawful activities and prevent violence.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee also reacted to the incident and said, “CRPF has shot dead 4 people in Sitalkuchi (Cooch Behar) today. There was another death in the morning. CRPF is not my enemy but there is a conspiracy going around under the instruction of Home Minister and  today’s incident is a proof,” as quoted by ANI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed sadness and requests Election Commission to intervene and respond strongly on it.

CISF spokesperson also responded to the incident and said, “Mob outside booth no 126, Jorpatki in Sitalkuchi (West Bengal) attacked CISF Jawans performing poll duty and tried to snatch their weapons. In self-defence and to save polling officials, Jawans deployed at the polling station fired 6-8 rounds.”