SRINAGAR: With Anantnag, and Srinagar Lok Sabha seats proceeding for by-polls on April 9 and 12, respectively, Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday, in a high-level meeting in New Delhi, reviewed the overall preparedness and the security situation for the polls.
Sources told KNS that the Election Commission of India in a meeting reviewed arrangements for both Lok Sabha seats. Besides the top officials of the commission, the Chief electoral officer of the Jammu and Kashmir also attended the meeting, sources said.
Chief Electoral Officer, Shantmanu told KNS that they have requested for at least 250 additional companies of Para-military forces for peaceful conduct of polls. I briefed to the Election Commissioners on the arrangements made for free and fair election of two seats, he said.
Sources told KNS that Election Commission officials will be visiting the state to review the security and overall preparedness of conduct of the by-polls.
The CEO further added that in the first meeting with Election Commission, a general review was held to find the need for upgrading the polling stations declared as hypersensitive and sensitive in both Lok Sabha (LS) constituencies.
He said that directions have been issued to the Returning Officers (ROs) to hold a meeting with the police authorities concerned to find the need for upgrading the security level at polling stations from the deployment, which was maintained in 2014 elections.
A total of 3194 polling stations are being set up to enable near 27 lakh voters to cast the ballot in the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Srinagar and Anantnag. While 1559 polling stations have been identified in Srinagar, 1635 are being set up in Anantnag constituency.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, all the 1651 polling stations in Anantnag parliamentary constituency were declared as hypersensitive. Out of the 1546 polling stations in Srinagar, 1021 were declared hypersensitive, 470 sensitive and 55 normal.
Sources, however, said that this time the ECI has asked for reviewing the need for declaring more polling stations in Srinagar constituency as hypersensitive or sensitive.
Meanwhile, the Director General of Police, Dr SP Vaid said that adequate security cover will be provided to the candidates as per the prescribed rules.
In the wake of the increase in incidents of violence, extra vigil will be maintained for ensure free and fair polls in the two constituencies of Srinagar and Anantnag, the DGP said.
Regarding holding the poll peacefully in the backdrop of rising militancy, the DGP said, The J&K Police, in assistance with security forces, have conducted polls in the past peacefully and incident-free, I am hope full that this election will also be conducted in a conducive atmosphere and we will create better condition with the help of security forces to ensure incident-free polls this time too, he said.
How To Use Vehicles During Polls?
District Magistrate Srinagar, who is also District Election Officer, on Thursday issued a number of instructions on plying of vehicles for election related works during Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency by-polls.
According to these instructions, strict action shall be taken against vehicles plying in contravention of provisions of Motor Vehicles Act. Vehicles shall be under close watch for any possible mischief or criminal activities like carrying of illegal arms, illicit liquor and anti social elements, an official spokesperson said.
The DM said that vehicles for campaign purposes shall ply only with prior approval of Returning officers and original permits bearing number of vehicles and name of candidates must be displayed premonitory on wind screen of vehicles.
He said that unregistered campaign vehicle if found being used for campaigning shall be deemed as un-authorized campaigning for the candidate. Besides, up to three vehicles are allowed to come within periphery of 100 meters of RO and ARO office during filling of nominations.
In case of visits by party leaders, permits of vehicles for road journey shall be issued centrally by CEO/RO in different colours. While as convoys of more than three vehicles, excluding security vehicles, shall not be allowed from the date of notification till completion of the election. However, bigger convoys can be broken up keeping a minimum distance of 200 meters.
There shall be no restrictions on number of vehicles in a convoy on the road during the period of election campaign by leaders. Further, according to these instructions bicycle and cycle rickshaw shall also be considered as a vehicle.
The District Magistrate said that these instructions shall remain in force till bye polls for Srinagar Parliamentary seat are over in the district.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.