Parliamentary polls: Police to provide tight security cover to candidates in fray

Munir Khan

Srinagar, March 28: Police on Wednesday said that tight security cover is being provided to the all contesting candidates who are in the poll fray for north, south and central Kashmir parliamentary seats. The five-phased elections are set to start amid multi-layer security cover in place, from April 11.

South Kashmir is the only seat where polls will be held in three phases due to the security concerns. The police said that it was thoroughly analyzing the “threat perception” of contesting candidates even though it was a hectic exercise.

Additional director general of police (ADGP) law and order and security, Munir Khan said that , “The basic cover entails personal security, escort security including vehicles and men and deployment of guards at his/her residence.” He said that those already in Z-security category will have present cover intact and if needed, their cover will be enhanced.

Sources said that many contesting candidates have requested police to enhance their security cover in the wake of deadly suicide attack on the CRPF convoy at Lehtpora in Pulwama. “Not just the contesting candidates, but also the other politicians have also sought increase in their personal guards,” the sources said.

A contesting candidate from South Kashmir revealed that so far they haven’t been provided with the enhanced security cover but they have been assured that their security will be increased.

As per the recent exercise conducted by the forces, 70 per cent of polling booths in north Kashmir Lok Sabha seat have been declared hypersensitive and 30 per cent. Similarly, in south Kashmir and Central Kashmir, 90 per cent polling booths are hypersensitive and ten percent sensitive.

In South Kashmir Lok Sabha segment, polls will be held in three phases due to the growing security concerns and the decision in this regard was taken by the Election Commission of India after “state administration and the security brass requested so.”

In South Kashmir districts, polling booths will be protected to the highest level and massive deployment will be made to prevent any disruption of polls by mob or the militants. “There is a separate component for dealing with the law and order problem and also the separate cover for the polling booths,” an official said.