Comprehensive security plan formulated in Anantnag

An Indian policeman stands guard as people wait in queues to cast their votes outside a polling station during the third phase of general election in Verinag in south Kashmir's Anantnag district April 23, 2019. (REUTERS)

To ensure peaceful polling in four volatile districts of south Kashmir’s Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, security agencies have formulated a comprehensive security plan.

The polls for the volatile constituency would be held in three phases - on April 23 in Anantnag district, on April 29 in Kulgam, Shopian and on May 6 in Pulwama districts - due to security challenges.

According to the security plan, eight senior superintendents of police (SSPs) have been posted for poll duties in Anantnag on April 23 and they would be deployed at different police stations, monitoring the overall situation. 

As per a communiqué, the SSPs will be camping at police stations Sirigufwara, Achabal, Anantnag, Kokernag Utersoo, Pahalgam, Dooru and Bijbehara in the first phase of the polling. Besides, they would remain on reserve with deputy inspector general (DIG) of police South Kashmir. Similarly, six anti-riot groups (ARGs) would remain reserved with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir.

Besides, the security plan reveals that all the gazetted officers (Deputy Superintendents of Police)/non gazetted officer (NGOs), who have been earmarked as anti-riot team (ART) commanders of the 10 ARGs—reserved with DIG south Kashmir and IGP Kashmir—were also called to Anantnag for election deployment. 

A senior police officer said there were multiple challenges in south Kashmir - both on militancy front as well as on law and order. “We are ensuring that all the resources at our disposal are utilised properly to ensure peaceful polling,” he said and added the Anantnag district security plan will be replicated in other three districts going to polls later.

The officer said Quick Reaction Teams (QRT) have been kept on standby near polling stations in case of any contingency while forces personnel would be conducting area domination and checkpoints have been established in sensitive and volatile areas.

“Security forces have been told to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with the protestors in the poll bound areas particularly at the time of withdrawal of troops,” he added.

In the first phase of election on April 11, a 7th standard student, Owais Mushtaq Mir was killed in pellet firing by forces near a polling station at Madigam village of Handwara in northern Kupwara district in the evening after completion of polls for Baramulla constituency.

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