The deployment of 12 companies of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR) in West Bengal has been postponed after polls to the Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency were rescheduled from April 18 to 23, according to official sources.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission (EC) deferred the Tripura East constituency polls from April 18 to April 23, citing inconducive security conditions.
Following the instructions of the Union Home Ministry and the EC, the 12 companies comprising 1,020 TSR troopers were supposed to move to West Bengal on Friday.
“As polling to the Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency was rescheduled, the TSR troopers led by two commanding officers are likely to move to West Bengal by next week if there isn’t any fresh development,” an official of Tripura’s Home Department who refused to be named said.
The TSR would be part of the central forces in West Bengal.
The official said that two TSR companies of 170 troopers had performed election related duties in Nagaland, where the parliamentary polling to the lone Lok Sabha seat was held in the first phase of the elections on April 11.
Tripura’s elite counter-insurgency trained India Reserve (IR) battalions of TSR had provided security during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and performed election related duties in more than 12 states — Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and the northeastern states.
The TSR was constituted in March 1984 to deal with militancy. Seventy five per cent of its personnel are from Tripura while the remaining come from across the country.
Currently the TSR has 12 battalions out of which nine are Indian Reserve. The Union Home Ministry has recently sanctioned two more TSR battalions.