Panchayat Polls More Challenging Than ULBs: Police 

SRINAGAR — The panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be more challenging than the recently concluded municipal elections in terms of security, a top police officer said Saturday, asserting that the government forces were prepared to tackle any situation.

Panchayat elections in the state will be held in nine phases beginning November 17. The urban local body polls, held in four phases, began October 8 and ended October 16.

“The panchayat elections will be more challenging because the spread is too much as compared to the urban (local) body elections. But we are prepared for that,” Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order and Security, Muneer Ahmad Khan, said.

Khan was speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a wreath laying ceremony for CISF officer ASI Rajendra Prasad who was killed in a standoff fire by militants at a power grid station in central Kahsmir’s Wagoora area during the intervening night.

The police officer said the attack was an act of frustration on part of the militants as security forces have had huge success on the anti-militancy front recently.

” You have seen there have been a lot of very very successful operations in which, in the last two days, eight militants belonging to various outfits were eliminated and without any collateral damage.

“That means, the flow of information is there is good, operations are happening and of course, it is the frustration on the side (part) of the militants that they are resorting to these kinds of things,” he said.

The ADGP said the success rate of anti-militancy operations depends on the flow of information.

“If good operations are taking place that means the flow of information is very good and we intend to keep on doing such operations,” he said.

Asked if militants were on the back foot because of the recent operations in which security forces had huge success, Khan said “this goes on sometimes back foot, sometimes front foot and sometimes ducking”.

“The up and down scenarios are there, but we have to do our professional work and that we are doing,” he said.

Polling will be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27 and 29, and December 1, 4, 8 and 11 in the 35,096 panchayats in the state. The entire election process would be completed by December 17. (with PTI inputs)

Govt Slashes Security Deposit For Sarpanch, Panch Candidates  

The Governor’s Administration has amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Raj Rules-1996 slashing drastically the security deposit for candidates contesting the upcoming Panchayat Polls.

According to a notification issued by the Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department, the security deposit for the candidates contesting Sarpanch/Panch election has been reduced from Rs 1000 to Rs 100.

Similarly, for SC, ST and Women candidates, the security deposit has been slashed from Rs 500 to Rs 50, it said.

A spokesman of the Rural Development Department said it was a long-pending demand of the aspiring candidates for Sarpanch/Panch elections and would ensure greater participation in Panchayat Polls to promote a vibrant Panchayati Raj system.

Panchayat Ghar Torched In Sopore 

Unknown persons set on fire a Panchayat Ghar at Nowpor  village of Sopore in North  Kashmir’s on Saturday evening. 

SSP Sopore Javid Iqbal confirmed the incident and said that a panchayat building was set afire in Nowpora Sopore around 8:00 p.m. by unknown persons. The fire tenders rushed to the spot and put out the blaze, the official said. The incident comes few days ahead of Panchayat elections in the incident. 

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