‘Security situation, up-gradation of polling stations discussed’: CEO
Srinagar, Mar 23: With the Anantnag, and Srinagar parliamentary seats preceding for by-polls on April 9 and 12 respectively, Election Commission of India 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 the parliamentary 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 concerned police authorities 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 parliamentary constituencies of Srinagar and Anantnag. While 1559 polling stations have been identified in Srinagar, 1635 are being set up in Anantnag constituency.
In 2014 parliamentary 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 S.P Vaid told KNS 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. (KNS)