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All polling stations in Anantnag declared hyper-sensitive

By Ians English

Anantnag, April 23: All 1,615 polling stations in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir have been declared "hyper-sensitive" following terror strikes Monday in which three people were killed, officials said on Wednesday.

Fifteen battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 7,500 personnel of the state armed police and all police forces posted in the four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian have been placed at the disposal of election authorities.

Ten battalions of the Rashtriya Rifles are also ready to thwart any attempt by separatist guerrillas to disrupt the polls.

Special Director General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar held a meeting in Awantipora area of Pulwama district Tuesday to review the security arrangements in the aftermath of the killing of two village headman in Amlar and Batgund villages.

Poll staff are being escorted by security forces, while village heads have been advised to take extra precaution on the eve of the polls.

Director General of Police Ashok Prasad said the Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit was involved in the killings in Pulwama district.

However, a lesser-known guerrilla group Al-Badr has owned responsibility for the killings.

Separatist leaders, including the hardline group led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the moderate group led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, have asked people to boycott the polls.

Over 1.2 million voters are eligible to vote to elect their representative to the 16th Lok Sabha from Anantnag.

Although there are 12 candidates in the fray, the main contest is between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and Mehboob Beg of the National Conference, who is seeking re-election.


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