All arrangements in place for Tuesday’s polls in Kashmir

Srinagar : Security arrangements and poll staff deployment were completed Monday in Jammu and Kashmir’s 16 constituencies going to the polls Tuesday in the third phase of the five-phase assembly election.

“Security arrangements and poll staff deployment have been completed today (Monday) evening at all the 1,781 polling stations in 16 constituencies in Baramulla, Pulwama and Badgam districts, where polling is scheduled tomorrow (Tuesday),” a senior election commission official told IANS here.

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Unprecedented security arrangements have been made as voting is taking place in the shadow of terror attacks from across the border that left 21 people dead in the Valley Dec 5.

A security force officer said: “500 companies of central security forces have deployed for tomorrow’s (Tuesday) polls in addition to the existing ones drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force and police.”

The officer said all the polling stations have been taken over by the security forces two days ahead of polls.

Sources said all the poll staff have reached the polling stations and will spend the night inside the polling stations.

Four constituencies of Pulwama district, five of Badgam district and seven of Baramulla district are going to the polls in the third phase. A total of 138 candidates, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, are in the fray.

Webcasting, videography, flying squads and appointments of macro and micro observers are some of the measures taken by the election commission to ensure free and fair poll.

Voting starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.