Jammu: About 400 companies of security forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls in the first phase of Jammu and Kashmir polls tomorrow. Of the 15 Assembly seats going to polls tomorrow, 11 segments of Chenab valley and North Kashmir were highly militancy infested areas and some of them still has militant influx.
A total of 10,502,50 voters, including 5,00,539 women, will decide the fate of 12 sitting MLAs, including seven ministers among 123 candidates at 1,900 polling stations in 15 constituencies.
The Assembly segments going to polls tomorrow include Kishtwar, Inderwal, Doda, Bhaderwah, Ramban and Banihal in Jammu division; Gurez, Bandipora, Sonawari, Kangan and Ganderbal in Kashmir) and Nobra, Leh, Kargil and Zanskar in Ladakh region.
“Roughly 400 security companies have been deployed for the first phase of polling in the state to ensure incident free voting tomorrow,” a senior police officer said. The security has been deployed for area domination, guarding polling stations, routes and polling parties, leaders and candidates apart from earlier campaigning. “There is deployment of para military forces at each and every polling station,” Chief Electoral officer (CEO), Umang Narola said.
He said that the paramilitary personnel will conduct area domination, and quick reaction teams have also put in place. Once a hotbed of militancy, the six assembly constituencies in the three districts carved out from the erstwhile united Doda district in Jammu region, going to polls tomorrow, have been put under elaborate security cover.
Six Assembly constituencies in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts of Chenab valley will be going to polls tomorrow.
“Elaborate security arrangements have been kept in place to make sure that anti-national forces are not given a chance to disrupt the poll process,” a senior police officer said. “I can assure you that adequate arrangements have been made to ensure free, fair and incident free elections,” he said.
Surrounded by mountains from all the four sides the rugged terrain of the three districts of Chenab valley have in the past acted as a safe haven for terrorists. “Security force deployment is there in every nook and corner of the district, we have deployed the personnel of CRPF and the local police at every polling booth,” SSP Kishtwar Yougal Manhas said.
Around 100 polling stations in the district have been kept under the hyper sensitive category while 106 others have been kept under sensitive category where additional deployment has been made.
Apart from maintaining security in the three districts, the police has also made arrangements to ensure that no law and order problem is created during the poll process. “Apart from providing security to the polling staff we have made arrangements to ensure that no law and order problem arises in the area,” SSP Ramban, Javid Iqbal Matoo said. In Doda district, the police has set up checkpoints at various places to monitor all the activities going on in and around the district.
“It is our duty to ensure incident free polling, so we have set up special checkpoints at various places in the district to ensure that nobody is allowed to disrupt the poll process and to make sure that no law and order problem happens in the area,” SSP Doda, Mohd Sharief Chouhan said. The elaborate security arrangements are also meant to send a signal to the voters, that they can exercise their franchise without any intimidation.