Srinagar by-election on 38 booths tomorrow, heavy security deployed after Sunday violence killed 8

After the violence on Sunday saw 8 people killed, the government is ensuring that the polling on Thursday remains violence free.

Massive security arrangements have been put in place in Budgam that is going for a re-poll at 38 polling stations on Thursday. Deployments have been increased phenomenally to ensure the day passes incident free.

Official sources said three district SPs and one additional SP will be deployed and given specific territories to manage the overall polling stations. "The idea is to ensure that there is no intervention in the polling stations and no possibility of any sort of booth capturing," one police officer said. "We will provide adequate security and confidence to the voter to exercise his right of franchise."

The returning officer said that no polling station has been changed. "The polling stations will be located at the places they earlier existed," Farooq A Lone, Returning Officer said. "Security was the main concern on Sunday and that is the only aspect that is being taken care of more seriously this time. Otherwise, everything is the same."

Every poling booth will have more than two companies attached for the day long exercise. The deployment of the poll staff will take place from later today.

POLLING STATIONS FOR THURSDAY ELECTION

As per the ECI notification, the polling stations in Chadoora Assembly constituency, where re-polling is to be held include 31-Bogam Batepora (B), 32-Bogam Batepora (B), 33-Nowbug, 39-Chack Mahand-Joo-Dhar, 52-Wathora (B), 54-Zoolwah, 55-Gopalpora (A), 56-Gopalpora (B), 57-Dooniwari, 60-Kralpora (A), 61-Kralpora (B), 63-Kralpora (D), 65-Dharambug (A), 66-Dharambug (B), 87-Bagi Mehtab (B) and 98-Dharambug (C).

In Budgam Assembly constituency, re-polling would be held on 22 stations - Nusurullah Pora (B), 23-Nusurullah Pora (C), 28-Galwanpora (A), 30-Haripora, 32-Wara Sangam, 40-Soibug (H), 107-Putlibagh and 120-Galwanpora (B).

Similarly, in Beerwah Assembly segment, re-polling would be held on 15 booths - Kanihama, 29-Badran (B), 34-Peerpora, 89-Sehpora and 94-Gundipora (A).

Likewise, re-polling would also be held on 7 stations - Repora, 9-Gopal Saif (A), 16-Nowpora, 38-Chrar-i-Sharief (M), 86-Kanir (A), 87-Kanir (B), 90-Hushroo and 91-Wagam of Chrar-e-Sharief Assembly Segment and polling booth number 79-Kandora (B) of Khan Sahib Assembly constituency.

Most of the people killed on Sunday were reported from Budgam. At various places, the youth locked the polling stations. At a few places, they escorted the security detail of polling stations to the nearest camps.

However, at a few places, they snatched the EVMs and destroyed them. Officials said even though a number of killings were reported, the police and paramilitary forces exhibited restraint to avoid loss of life.

Various political forces, even within the ruling PDP voiced strongly against a re-poll saying it will trigger a new wave of violence. Separatists have already called for a day-long strike on Thursday against the re-polling and elections.

GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE LESSONS FROM TURNOUT OF BY-POLLS

Meanwhile, Chairman of All parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that government of India as well as state government should take lessons from turnout of by-polls in Srinagar constituency and should take steps for long standing political settlement of Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking exclusively to India Today, the separatist leader said that Hurriyat leadership is being caged in houses and not being allowed to reach out to people, or to even condole the death of people killed on polling day.

When asked about engaging with the government, Mirwaiz said they are ready for talks with the government but added that the government has to make that kind of atmosphere for it to happen as former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had done earlier.

Responding to recent statements by US officials and UN Secretary General about the Kashmir issue, Mirwaiz said he welcomed any kind of mediation to bring India and Pakistan on table. He said, "Better relations and talks between India and Pakistan will also make conducive atmosphere in the Valley, which has been on edge since killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.

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