The Centre has decided to deploy over 51,000 personnel of central paramilitary forces for ensuring free and fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.
According to an order issued by the Union Home Ministry, a total of 381 companies of various central forces like Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), BSF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and state police reserve units have been asked to move to Jammu and Kashmir for poll-related duties.
Similarly, a total of 136 companies of forces have been asked to report to Election Commission authorities in Jharkhand.
A single company of these forces’ comprise about 100 personnel. With the addition of the two numbers in the poll- bound states, the fresh troop strength stand approximately at 51,700.
“These units are in addition to the central forces which are already deployed in these two states for counter- insurgency (JK) and anti-Naxal (Jharkhand) operations. They have been given marching orders recently,” a senior officer said.
According to latest data, the CRPF has close to 65 battalions deployed in the interiors of Jammu and Kashmir as part of its routine duties apart from a dozen others of forces like BSF and SSB which will also be used for peripheral duties during Assembly polls in the state.
In Jharkhand, there are close to 25 battalions of CRPF which in already undertaking operations against Left-wing Extremists, along with some units of other paramilitary forces.
These new units, the officer said, will be deployed according to EC guidelines in the two states and they will maintain a close liasion with their existing units for exchange of intelligence and operational information in these areas.
“These units earmarked in the latest will escort polling parties and will man polling booths. They will be talking to the regular units deployed in the area as both the states have unique security challenges which are best understood by those present there,” the officer said.
Both the states will undergo a five-phase polling between November 25 and December 20 while the counting will take place on December 23.