Contingency Plan Put In Place For April 10 Election In Jammu

4 April 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: In the wake of March 28 terror attack at Tarnah Bridge and Janglote Army camp in Kathua district, authorities have worked out a contingency plan to deal with any eventuality from Pakistan side along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) on the day of polling in Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary seat on April 10. Authorities have identified 52 polling stations, which would need shifting in case of firing by the Pakistani troops. 'We have identified all polling stations located close to the LoC and IB in Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts, which were part of Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat and which would require shifting in case of firing by the Pakistani troops. Alternate locations have been identified for such polling stations to ensure that the voting was not affected due to the firing,' official sources told the Excelsior. Authorities have also readied the Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs)-one each at every polling station in Rajouri and Poonch districts and selected locations in Jammu and Samba districts to meet with any eventuality on or before the day of polling, sources said. They added that a total of 9 polling stations in Samba district, 23 in Jammu and 20 in Rajouri and Poonch districts have been identified as vulnerable to Pakistani firing, which would require shifting in case of firing from across the border. Sources said the authorities have identified polling stations or locations in safer areas, where the polling stations would be shifted immediately if Pakistan Army resorted to firing. 'We wouldn't allow the polling to be disrupted. It would go on smoothly. The men and machinery would be relocated from the polling station to already identified safer location if the need arises,' they added. DIG Rajouri-Poonch A K Atri said there were three polling stations in Poonch and Rajouri districts-two at Digwar and Malti in Poonch district and one at Lam, Nowshera in Rajouri district, which were located across the fencing and were directly in firing range of Pakistan Army. Rest of 17 vulnerable polling stations in the two border districts were on this side of the border fence. Mr Atri said authorities have formed Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) at every police station in Poonch and Rajouri districts. Each QRT comprised 12 to 18 well trained police personnel, who were fully equipped with arms and ready to meet with any challenge. The QRTs have been deployed in Jammu and Samba districts as per requirement, sources said, adding they were enough to deal with any situation including the threat emanating from across the border especially in the wake of March 28 attack in Kathua district. According to sources, 39 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been deployed in Rajouri and 32 in Poonch district apart from 24 and 12 battalions respectively of Armed and Indian Reserve Police. 'The deployment would be in place at least one or two days ahead of the polling for sanitization operation of the polling stations and surrounding areas,' sources said. Sources said the authorities have declared 49 polling stations in Rajouri district as hyper sensitive out of a total of 499. Remaining 131 polling stations were sensitive and 219 as normal. In Poonch district, out of a total of 373 polling stations, 23 have been declared as hyper sensitive, 134 as sensitive and 209 as normal. Rajouri's 499 polling stations would be located in only 416 locations, which means 83 locations would have twin polling stations while Poonch district's 373 polling stations would be located in 359 locations. Of 246 polling stations, only eight were hyper sensitive while 169 others were sensitive and 69 normal. There was no hyper sensitive polling station in Jammu district, which has a total of 1153 polling stations. About 50 to 60 polling stations were sensitive while rest were normal. Jammu-Poonch Parliam-entary seat has a total of 2271 polling stations, the highest ever among six Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir.