A section of election personnel in West Bengal's Cooch Behar constituency, which goes to the Lok Sabha polls in the first phase on Thursday along with Alipurduar, have demanded protection by central forces in each booth, officials said. Poll personnel holding banners were seen raising slogans to press for their demand in one of the temporary poll material distribution centres here.
Some of them claimed that at least 900 booths will not have any central force protection in Coochbehar. The special police observer Vivek Kumar Dubey is slated to hold a meeting Wednesday with the new Coochbehar superintendent of police Amit Kumar Singh and district magistrate Kaushick Saha to discuss the situation and ensure fair and peaceful voting in the district, officials said.
According to officials, a total of 83 companies of central police have been already deployed in the two constituencies in place of the initially planned 79 companies. Of the 83 companies, 40 would be deployed in booths, they said.
BJP Cooch Behar candidate Nishit Pramanik said he will request Dubey to review the number of sensitive booths. He claimed that booths in Cooch Behar which reported rampant rigging in the 2018 panchayat polls have been kept out of the list of sensitive booths by Abhishek Gupta, the previous superintendent of police who was replaced barely 36 hours before polling.
(With inputs from agencies.)