By Sujit Chakraborty |Agartala | March 16, 2019
The elite Tripura State Rifles (TSR), which had earlier performed election duties in more than 12 states, besides at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, would be deployed in some eastern states to facilitate peaceful Lok Sabha elections, a senior official said here on Saturday.
“After the Lok Sabha elections in Tripura, two battalions of TSR would be deployed in some eastern states. The Election Commission and the Union Home Ministry would soon decide their deployment,” a senior Home Department official told IANS.
The official declining to be named, said that around 1,200 (two operational battalions) TSR troopers, led by senior officers, would be posted on election-related duties along with other Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF).
He said the union home ministry has asked the Tripura government to send the TSR troopers for providing security during the electioneering as part of the central forces.
Besides providing security during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the India Reserve (IR) battalions of TSR were earlier sent to Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, and to the northeastern states, to provide security during assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
The TSR, trained for counter-insurgency operations, was raised in March 1984 to deal with terrorism. Seventy-five percent of its personnel are from Tripura while the remaining are from across the country.
The TSR has 12 battalions, of which nine are IR battalions. The Union Home Ministry has recently sanctioned it two more IR battalions.
“The IR battalions can be posted anywhere in the country as and when the union Home Ministry asked the concerned state government,” a senior TSR officer said.
Meanwhile, the CPMFs deployed for the Lok Sabha elections in Tripura started arriving in the state from Friday night.
The Home Department official said that the state election authority had earlier sought 150 companies of CPMF, but the MHA refused to provide such a large number.
“We expect that around 60 companies of additional CPMFs are likely to be posted in Tripura,” he added.
Of the state’s two seats, West Tripura goes to the polls on April 11 and East Tripura on April 18.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)