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EC doubles death compensation for poll personnel

April 18, 2009 01:57 IST
Keeping in mind the Maoist attacks on security-men on election duty over the last two days, the Election Commission has doubled the compensation for death of poll personnel in an attack by the ultras.

An amount of Rs 10 lakh would be now given to the deceased's nearest kin -- double the amount of Rs 5 lakh earlier given, Chief Electoral Officer Debashis Sen said. Apart from this, the Election Commission is giving special attention to the areas in West Bengal dominated by Left wing extremists going to the polls on April 30.

"There are six assembly segments -- Jhargram and Binpur in West Midnapore district and Bandwan, Balarampur Bagmundi and Joypur in Purulia -- which are Maoist-dominated," Sen said.

He said there were 500 booths in the areas which come under 15 police stations and in all these areas the election would end at 3 pm instead of 5 pm. The Central Police Force would be deployed in all these areas from April 22 and would conduct flag marches as a part of confidence building measures, Sen said.

"Apart from that there will be a Quick Response Team which can reach the point of disturbance quickly. Arrangement for aerial survey and medical teams along with a full fledged doctor would also be made," Sen said.

"We are trying to make the security foolproof. The border will be sealed and there will be arrangement for powerful lights so that the security personnel can keep a close watch," Sen said.

So far as security of the polling personnel is concerned, the Election Commission has decided to keep them at a safe house under tight security of one company CPF.

"As most of the booths are sensitive so the election personnel will have stay overnight in or near the booths. The polling and the presiding officers of some booths will be kept at a cluster point and they will be taken to the booths in the morning to avoid any kind of casualty," Sen said.

Asked if the Election Commission has received any proposal from the state government for additional 40 companies of security personnel, Sen replied in the positive. Sen will visit Delhi on Saturday to discuss the issues with the EC.

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