Poll staff, security in place for Monday’s voting

November 16th, 2008 - 10:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Nov 16 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir is set for the first of the seven-phase elections and the authorities Sunday said the staff for the voting was in place in 10 constituencies where polling begins early Monday.”All the poll staff, electronic voting machines (EVMs), poll related materials and security arrangements are in place for the 10 constituencies of Nobra, Leh, Zanskar, Kargil, Bandipora, Sonawari, Gurez, Surankote, Mendhar and Poonch-Haveli,” an official told IANS.

The voting will start 8 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.

Unprecedented security arrangements have been made in Bandipora and Sonawari constituencies of the Kashmir Valley to prevent separatists’ anti-poll march.

“For the 25 polling stations of Gurez (close to border) assembly constituency, the polling staff have been airlifted from Bandipora. The material for this constituency was already dispatched and has reached its destination,” said a senior poll official said here.

Barricading of entry points with razor fitted wires, regular patrolling of roads and strict checking of identity cards of media people and representatives of political parties into these two constituencies have been done to prevent entries of separatists there.

“Nobody will be allowed to stop the voters from exercising their democratic rights. We have devised a strategy to isolate the separatists so that they are prevented from forcing a boycott on the people in the valley,” B. Srinivas, inspector general of police (Kashmir Zone), said.

There are 114 polling stations in the Bandipora assembly constituency and 106 in Sonawari.

The fate of 102 contestants would be decided by the voters Monday.

The Election Commission has appointed 10 observers to ensure free and fair polls in these constituencies.

Polling in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in seven phases: Nov 17, Nov 23, Nov 30 and Dec 7, Dec 13, Dec 17 and Dec 24. The counting of votes will take place Dec 28.

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