Agartala, July 7 (IANS) The counter-insurgency Tripura State Rifles (TSR) will provide security during the forthcoming panchayat polls in West Bengal, officials said here Sunday.
"Around 450 troopers (five companies) of the TSR led by Commandant Prabir Majumder will go to poll-bound West Bengal next week. Their deployment would be at the discretion of the union home ministry," a senior Tripura home department official told IANS.
The panchayat polls in West Bengal would be held in five phases -- July 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25. The TSR troopers would be deployed to provide security from third to fifth phases of the polls.
"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 and Jharkhand to provide security during assembly elections in these states," the official said
The TSR was constituted in March 1984 to deal with terrorism in Tripura. Seventy-five percent of its troopers are from Tripura while the remaining are from across the country. At present, there are 12 TSR battalions in Tripura.
Of these, nine are India Reserve battalions, which means they can be deployed anywhere in India by the union home ministry.
"The TSR has been modelled on the pattern of Border Security Force and Assam Rifles. It has played an important role in curbing terrorism in Tripura," the official added.