Elections Kick Off Under Shadow Of Gun In JK

10 April 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

Jammu: The parliamentary elections in the militancy-plagued state began today under the shadow of the gun. Personnel of the J&K Police and paramilitary forces, including the CRPF, BSF and the SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal), dotted the polling booths across the Jammu-Poonch constituency to ensure hassle-free voting. Amidst the hustle and bustle of voters, security personnel were seen quietly discharging their duties outside and inside the polling booths. 'It is good to see such an overwhelming response of voters. The turnout has made my colleagues and I smile and forget our fatigue despite our strenuous duty. There are people who cannot even walk and need our help. We are assisting them. At the same time, there is no compromise with the security,' said Ram Prakash, a CRPF jawan posted outside a polling booth in Rehari here. Mohammed Iqbal, a constable posted at a polling booth in New Plots, said: 'Along with paramilitary forces, the police are also providing security and assisting the voters. It is part of our job to guide them and at the same time ensure hassle-free voting.' A senior CRPF officer, who did not wish to be named, said: 'The CRPF remains at the forefront of providing security in Jammu and Kashmir, be it for a pilgrimage and national festivals or for providing cover to politicians or for tackling militancy.' Jammu zone IGP Rajesh Kumar said the police along with paramilitary forces did everything to ensure smooth and peaceful polling for Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat. While the Army was put on high alert along the Line of Control in Rajouri and Poonch district and the BSF tightened the security on the international border in Samba district, 13,000 paramilitary and police personnel were deployed at 2,271 polling stations in the Lok Sabha constituency, which has 17,63,579 voters. In total, over 26,000 security personnel and poll officials were deployed for the exercise. Security stepped up * The Army was put on high alert along the Line of Control in Rajouri and Poonch district while the BSF tightened the security on the international border in Samba district. * In total, over 26,000 security personnel and poll officials were deployed for the polling exercise in Jammu-Poonch constituency, which has 17,63,579 voters.