Kolkata, Feb 28 (PTI) Around 150 companies of central forces are likely to reach West Bengal in the first week of March primarily to conduct route marches ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, a senior official of the Election Commission said on Wednesday.

These security personnel will be deployed in two phases in all parts of the state by March 7, he added.

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"In the first phase, 100 companies of central forces are coming to the state by March 1 and another 50 companies will reach the state by March 7," the official told PTI.

More forces will arrive after the dates of the polls are announced, he added.

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In the first phase, three companies will be posted in Darjeeling, and another two companies in the second phase, he said.

In the two phases, two companies each will be deployed in Siliguri, Kalimpong, the official said, adding that five companies will be deployed in Cooch Behar, four companies each in Jalpaiguri, Raiganj Police District, Dakshin Dinajpur, Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum districts.

"There will be three companies each in Alipurduar, and Islampur Police District. During the panchayat election, we witnessed widespread violence in both Malda and Murshidabad districts. Keeping that in mind, it has been decided to deploy seven companies in Malda and eight companies in Murshidabad," he added.

Eight companies of central forces will be deployed in Nadia district while nine companies will be there in Howrah and Hooghly and 10 companies in Kolkata, he said.

The ECI has decided to deploy 21 companies of central forces in the entire North 24 Parganas districts.

"Out of this, only 3 companies of central forces are being pre-deployed in Basirhat Police District. Currently, nine companies of forces are being deployed in South 24 Parganas," he added.

Incidentally, Sandeshkhali, which is currently on the boil, falls under the Basirhat Police District.

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