Risky by-polls: More than 3,000 polling stations ‘sensitive’ or ‘hypersensitive’

Risky by-polls: More than 3,000 polling stations ‘sensitive’ or ‘hypersensitive’

Srinagar: Almost all the more than three thousand polling stations in Srinagar and Anantnag for the upcoming Lok Sabha by-polls have been categorised as ‘sensitive’ and ‘hypersensitive’, the JK Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) told Kashmir Reader.
According to CEO Shantmanu, the categorisation has been done after considering the situation in the two parliamentary constituencies where most of the 3,194 polling stations have been termed as either hypersensitive or sensitive.
“There are about 3,194 polling stations and almost all the polling stations in these two parliamentary constituencies have been declared as sensitive or hypersensitive, including 1,559 polling booths in Srinagar and the remaining 1,600 in Anantnag,” the officer said.
He added that he has directed officials to come up with the final list of all polling booths within two days after undertaking security and other checks.
The officer said that all arrangements are being put in place to conduct the parliamentary by-polls in the constituencies in a ‘free and fair atmosphere’.
The CEO earlier held a review meeting, attended by deputy commissioners of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, and top police officials, in which he directed officials to start awareness programs in educational institutes in the two constituencies to increase participation in the by-polls.
According to officials, the categorisation as sensitive and hypersensitive has been done in view of rising militancy in the region. Anantnag constituency, which falls in south Kashmir, has been was the epicenter of the six months long uprising in the Valley last year.
The by-polls in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies are scheduled on April 9 and 12, respectively, after parliamentary seats here fell vacant following the resignations of the PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti and Tariq Hamid Karra.
In view of the increase in counter-insurgency operations in the Valley, the opposition parties had reportedly expressed concerns about the security situation and urged a halt in these operations till elections were over. The police had said that they would consider their demands in view of the security situation.

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