We provide support to State authorities for peaceful elections under the directions of EC: Kuldiep Singh.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has deployed over 50,000 personnel in poll-bound West Bengal, its Director- General Kuldiep Singh said on Thursday.
Mr. Singh, a 1986 batch Indian Police Service officer who was appointed this week as the DG, said 13 persons had been provided protection by the CRPF in West Bengal.
“The pre-poll deployment in West Bengal is 725 CRPF companies, 495 companies have reached there, the rest are on their way. We only provide support to the police there,” the DG said, adding that the operational strength of each company was 72 personnel.
The 3.25-lakh Central police force is deployed for internal security duties in Jammu and Kashmir, Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas and during elections.
Addressing a press conference on the occasion of the force’s 82nd raising day, Mr. Singh said, “Threat assessments are done by the State authorities in areas and they decide deployment on that basis.”
West Bengal Assembly polls will be held in eight phases for 294 seats beginning March 27.
“We provide support to the State authorities so that peaceful and successful elections could be held under the directions of the Election Commission. We are committed to peaceful, free and fair elections. We provide support, we do not gather intelligence,” he said.
In all, the CRPF is providing security cover to 69 persons including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, industrialist Mukesh Ambani and actor Kangana Ranaut.
When asked about a recent video where a CRPF personnel was seen opening the door of Ms. Ranaut’s car in Mumbai, the DG said, “I am yet to get details but the motive behind opening the door is important. Doing it out of courtesy is not in mandate, important that it is done part of security.”
He said 80 CRPF personnel had died due to COVID-19 so far.