200 former militants detained ahead of Baramulla polls

KL Report

SRINAGAR

In view of the polls, scheduled to be held in Baramulla on May 7, police has detained more than 200 people including the former militants. Sources said, several people at various places of North Kashmir were called to their respective police stations and were kept under preventive detention in view of the polls scheduled to be held in 15 segments of North Kashmir.

They maintained that police has also detained the former militants who had joined the militant ranks earlier and then surrendered. Also some activists from various separatist groups have been taken into custody reportedly for affixing poll boycott posters in various areas. The stone throwers against whom the cases were registered in the year 2008, 09 and 10 have also been detained at various police stations.

Police sources while confirming the reports stated that more than 200 people have been taken into preventive custody to ensure smooth conduct of polls on May 7.

A senior police officer wishing not to be named said that the top priority for the police is to ensure smooth conduct of elections and that the preventive measures have been taken so that the law and order is not disrupted.  He added that the detained persons will be released once the elections in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency are over.

Police maintained further that an attack carried out at a local school of Watergam was aimed to create panic in the area and to instill fear in the minds of people. Police claimed that the attack was carried out using a petrol bomb and that the reports of the IED blast are incorrect. Police informed that the additional forces have also been deployed in North Kashmir to ensure safety for the voters and that the forces have already been deployed in various far flung areas of North Kashmir including Gurez, Keran, Uri and  Tulail.

Pertinently, with 18 candidates in fray in North Kashmir’s Baramulla seat and a registered electorate of 11, 5200, a close fight between the big wigs is expected on Kupwara- Baramulla turf on May 7. Various areas of this Lok Sabha seat are being considered as volatile in terms of militancy related activities.  The Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Prasad Monday stated that the police implemented the security plan of 2008 for the polls in North Kashmir.

The state police chief said that whatever the measures taken by the police in the year 2008- the same is being done in the current year during polls to avoid any disruption of law and order. “In terms of the police deployment at various places, to thwart protest demonstrations and stone pelting and any other activity that would disrupt law and order in the state- the security plan of the year 2008 is being implemented this year also.”

Commenting over the security scenario of the Baramulla during polls on May 7, Ashok Prasad stated that there are three major challenges being faced by the police at present. “First is that the militants could carry out soft target killings in the area. Second is the strike call during polls issued by the separatists. It could instigate people for stone pelting. Third is the direct attempt of stone pelting at various places to disrupt poling and to create panic in various areas that will go for polls on May 7.” (KNS)

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