Theweekendleader

Tripura troopers deployed for Bengal polls

Agartala

16-April-2014

Two battalions of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) have been deployed in West Bengal to facilitate peaceful elections, beginning Thursday, an official said here Wednesday.

The TSR troopers, who provided security cover during the April 9 Lok Sabha polls in Nagaland, have now been moved to West Bengal, where the five-phase polling begins Thursday.

"Around 1,000 TSR troopers, led by two commandants, are already posted in Cooch Behar areas of poll-bound West Bengal. The union home ministry has asked the Tripura government to send the TSR troopers to Bengal," a senior home department official told IANS.

He said the troopers would be posted in all the five phases of elections in West Bengal.

"West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had expressed unwillingness...to use the TSR during the panchayat elections in July last year since the TSR jawans are from Left-ruled Tripura," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Besides providing security during Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010, the India Reserve (IR) battalions of TSR were earlier sent to Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Mizoram to provide security during various elections in these states.

The TSR, trained for counter-insurgency operations, was constituted in March 1984 to deal with terrorism. Seventy-five percent of its troopers are from Tripura while the remaining are from across the country.- IANS