LS polls: Massive security build-up for South Kashmir’s Anantnag district | KNO

350 spots identified for security beef up, 35000 additional forces to remain deployed on alert mode, say top officials
LS polls: Massive security build-up for South Kashmir’s Anantnag district | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, April 22 (KNO) : Nearly 300 companies of para-military forces along with the police will be deployed for the smooth conduct of first phase of elections of South Kashmir parliamentary constituency commencing from Anantnag district tomorrow while Army would keep the tight vigil to counter any kind of militant threat, top security officials told KNO on Monday. First phase of elections for South Kashmir Lok Sabha seat will commence from April 23 from Anantnag district. The officials said that tight security arrangements have been made in Anantnag besides other south Kashmir districts that include Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam. For the South Kashmir seat, the major contest is between PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir while as National Conference has fielded retired Justice Hasnain Masoodi. There will be the deployment of 300 additional forces personnel that means 35000 forces men on ground in all four districts of south Kashmir tomorrow while as special focus will remain on Anantnag district that is going to polls in the first phase. Second phase of elections will be held on April 29 and third on May 6, official told KNO. A top police office told KNO that all security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of elections in Anantnag district with deployment of para-military and police personnel. “The companies of BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, IRP and Jammu and Kashmir police have been deployed in strength in all sensitive areas of areas going to polls and they have taken their positions,” said the officer, pleading anonymity. Reliable sources said army was manning the heights to sanitize the areas and ensure that there was no militant threat during the polling. A CRPF officer said that they have already started night patrolling, area domination while as multiple-layer of security cover will be given to polling booths across the district. “A separate component for law and order challenges has also been deployed,” he said. After killing of Owais Mushtaq, a 7th class student in Handwara area of Kupwara district on April 11 two-pronged strategy has been evolved to ensure peaceful and incident free polling. For the polling stations falling in hypersensitive and sensitive category, proper security plan has been worked out so that voters come freely to exercise their right to vote. Separate teams have been deployed on ground for facing the militant threats. Number of checkpoints and mobile check posts has been jointly established by the police and the CRPF on all important road links to facilitate the movement of voters. There are 90 per cent of polling booths in Anantnag district that fall in the hypersensitive category while remaining 20 percent have been declared as sensitive. The polling staff and the machinery including electronic voting machines have reached the designated polling stations in the district. They were distributed at several Centres across the constituency under tight security. The troops have been deployed inside polling stations and there separate columns for patrolling the areas. For the sensitive areas including some pockets of downtown, extra deployment will be made at the polling stations and on the roads to deal with the possible street protests. The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has asked people to boycott the polls and to observe a shutdown on April 22.(KNO)