DDC Polls: Centre Rushes 25,000 More Troops To J&K

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Paramilitary forces personnel in Kashmir | File Photo

New Delhi: Around 250 companies or 25,000 central paramilitary personnel are being sent by the Centre for providing security cover to the forthcoming eight-phase District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday.

The units have been drawn from various Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) like the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and the SSB.

A CAPF company has an operational strength of around 100 personnel.

“About 250 CAPF companies have been earmarked by the Union home ministry for the DDC elections in Jammu and Kashmir. These units are being culled out from various locations in the country, including those who were deployed for providing security during the recently concluded assembly polls in Bihar,” a senior officer said.

He said the largest number of 49 companies are from the Central Reserve Police followed by other CAPFs.

The units are now moving towards the Union Territory, the officer added.

The troops will be deployed along with the local police and other CAPF units already present in the UT for counter-terrorist operations and law and order duties, he said.

The elections will be held from November 28 to December 22. Results will be declared on December 22.

These polls will be the first major political activity in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5 last year, when the Centre revoked the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 of the Constitution and split it into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Cong Demands Security For Party Leaders

The Congress raised the issue of safety concerns of its leaders with the election authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday and said they should be given the basic minimum security ahead of the upcoming DDC polls in the Union Territory.

The Jammu and Kashmir poll panel announced an eight-phase election to 20 district development councils (DDCs) in the Union Territory from November 28 to December 22. This will be the first major electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state, in August last year.

“We had come to request the Election Commission about the basic minimum security to be provided to our leaders. We have raised the security concerns with the poll panel,” chief spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress Ravinder Sharma said.

He said very little security is provided to opposition leaders as compared to the leaders of the ruling party.

“The poll panel told us that it is being looked into and we hope that it will be acted upon,” Sharma said.

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Press Trust of India

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