Govt sets the ball rolling for Panchayat polls

New Delhi: Over 40,000 personnel of the central paramilitary forces will be deployed to provide security for the upcoming panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

They said the Union Home Ministry, on the request of the state government, has decided to deploy 300 companies of various Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) for the polls.

Of the fresh battalions sanctioned for the task by the home ministry, 85 will be from the Central Reserve Police Force, 75 from the Border Security Force, 55 from the Central Industrial Security Force, 40 from the Sashastra Seema Bal and 45 from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

Apart from the fresh battalions, 101 training companies of these forces, already present in the state, will also be utilised for the panchayat elections, officials said.

A CAPF company has just over 100 personnel.

The state government has decided to hold the panchayat elections from February 15 after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti held a meeting with Governor N N Vohra in December last year.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, in a joint statement, had called for a boycott of the elections.

Mufti would also chair an all-party meeting to seek views of all political parties in the state on the upcoming polls. (PTI)

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