Three-hundred companies of Central Armed Police Force have been selected by the Home Ministry to be sent to Bihar to help in the state election next month. These 30,000 central police personnel will help the Bihar Police in ensuring the election is held peacefully, officials said.
"The state government is recruited to work out the detailed deployment plan in consultation with CAPFs. The movement and deployment of all would be coordinated by CRPF," the Home Ministry said in the order, adding arrangements should be made under the COVID-19 safety guidelines.
There are 38 districts in Bihar and according to the Home Ministry, 40 per cent of these districts are affected by "Left-Wing Extremism". Gaya, Aurangabad, Jamui, Jehanabad and Lakhisarai are worst-affected by LWE, the Home Ministry said.
"As CRPF is going to coordinate movement of forces, they have been instructed to de-induct forces as soon as possible so that they can start area-domination and confidence-building exercises in these areas," a senior official said, referring to the Central Reserve Police Force.
The official said the CAPF battalions will reach Bihar in the first week of October and would be deployed in all 243 assembly constituencies. "Next two months is festival season, so the forces on ground would have to be more alert," another official said.
Intelligence agencies have also issued general alerts for movement of battalions from one district to another, especially in Maoist-infested areas.
According to the deployment blueprint, Maoist-affected areas would be priority as they need intensive patrolling days ahead of voting. Polling in most of the LWE-affected areas is in the first phase on October 28.
Altogether, 80 companies of the CRPF, 50 companies of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), 30 companies of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), 55 companies of Border Security Force (BSF), 70 companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and 15 companies of Railway Protection Force (RPF) are likely to reach Bihar.
In the last assembly election in 2015, the state got 726 companies of CAPF to help in the six-phase election.
"The aim for such deployment is also to build confidence among people and instil fear among criminals and anti-social elements so that polling takes place peacefully and in free and fair manner," an officer said.