High level security arrangements in place for LS vote counting

KL Report

SRINAGAR

A high level meeting of different security agencies chaired by special Director General of Police K Rajendera Kumar was held on Thursday to review the security and deployment arrangements to ensure an incident free counting of Lok Sabha ballots at five stations in Kashmir division.

According to IGP Kashmir A G Mir, adequate arrangements have been made to ensure ‘no security lapses’ on these five counting stations including Leh and Kargil on May 16. “We have taken adequate security measures to facilitate a hassle free counting in all the five stations across the Kashmir division,” Mir said.

Official sources revealed that the counting event in all the five stations will be card based entry system. “Only those people will be allowed to centre into the counting premises who have a valid entry card issued by the election commission,” a well placed officer said.

An officer in the state electoral said that preparations for May 16 Lok Sabha election counting which will be held at five counting stations including Leh and Kargil. Each counting station will have video surveillance to watch over. The security measures for counting halls and strong rooms–which contain the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), have been planned as per the ECI guidelines.

Sources in police maintained that CCTV cameras have already been installed for close surveillance of the activities in the counting venue in Islamabad, Srinagar and Baramulla the three out of five counting stations.

In order to review all these arrangements, the Special Director General of Police, K. Rajendra Kumar chaired a meeting that was attended by senior police and para-military officers. The meeting was also attended senior officers of the traffic department and intelligence agencies. Rajendra impressed upon the participants in the meeting to implement the action plan strictly for the security of counting staff and the stations. He stressed for better coordination among the forces to ensure free and fair counting. During the meeting, special DGP sought reports from range DIGPs and para-military officers present in the meeting about security scenario in their respective areas. He stressed for joint efforts to ensure peace and security at all counting stations to thwart sinister designs of elements inimical to peace.

Earlier, the IGP Kashmir Zone, A. G. Mir apprised the meeting about the steps taken for deployment of personnel in different counting stations. The counting of votes for central Kashmir parliamentary constituency will take place at 8 AM in SKICC. According to DC Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Shah, eight halls with 64 tables for 15 assembly segments of the central Kashmir constituency have been created for the counting. “We have divided counting for these 15 segments into two sessions. In first session of the counting we will count votes of 8 segments and in second session the counting will be for the other 7 segments,” he said.

Similarly, in South Kashmir the counting will be carried at Government Degree College Boys Khanabal Islamabad at 8 AM. “We have created 16 halls for 16 assembly segments of the South Kashmir constituency,” Saugat Biswas, deputy commissioner and returning officer for Islamabad Lok Sabha constituency said.

In Baramulla the counting be held at Government Boys Degree College at 8 AM. “We have created 15 counting halls  for 15 assembly segments of the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency and adequate arrangements have been made for the counting,” Farooq Ahmad Lone, deputy commissioner Baramulla who is also the returning officer for the North Kashmir parliamentary constituency said. (KNS)

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