10,000 Staff to Spend Night Inside Polling Stations in Srinagar
More than 10,000 poll staff deployed at 1,546 polling stations in Srinagar Lok Sabha seat reached their places of duty and will spend the night there ahead of polling Wednesday while over 50 paramilitary troopers and local policemen each began securing the sites.
Due to security reasons, all the polling staff at polling stations set up at 968 places would spend the night there.
A total of 241 companies of central paramilitary forces and over 10,000 local policemen have been deployed for polling duties in Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.
"Every official of the state administration connected with the poll process and every policeman in the constituency has been kept at the disposal of the election commission to ensure free and fair voting tomorrow," said a senior state government official here.
It is one of the heaviest deployment of security forces even by standards of Kashmir where Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and armed policemen have been a common sight in cities, towns and villages during the last 23 years since armed violence started here.
For the first time, CCTV cameras mounted on vehicles have been parked outside sensitive installations, traffic crossings and other vulnerable places.
This is in addition to the CCTV cameras already installed in the city.
Quick reaction teams (QRTs) have been formed for quick and prompt response to any untoward incident during the voting.
Extraordinary security arrangements and reduction in the polling schedule by one hour have been necessitated to prevent separatists from disrupting the poll process.
Separatist leaders have called for a complete boycott of Wednesday's polls asking people to enforce a 'civil curfew' in the constituency.
Two explosions, which left 17 people injured, occurred April 27.
Separatist guerrillas killed a poll official and injured five others in Anantnag Lok Sabha seat that went to vote on April 24.
Besides, separatist sympathisers pelted stones at over two dozen polling stations to prevent willing voters from exercising their democratic right on April 24.
A total of 12.31 lakh voters would be exercising their franchise in the three districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal and Badgam which comprise the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat constituency.
National Conference (NC) patron and union minister Farooq Abdullah is seeking re-election from here while his main challenger is Tariq Hamid Karra of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Voting begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday.