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CIVIC POLLS: Checkpoints, frisking galore as elections draw near

Srinagar, Oct 6: Security has been beefed up across Kashmir ahead of the civic polls beginning October 8.

The 4-phase urban local bodies polls are scheduled to be held on October 8, 10, 13, and 16, while the 9-phase  panchayat election would be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 1, 4, 8 and 11.

 Ahead of polls, police and paramilitary forces have been deployed across Kashmir, especially in the city.
Searching of vehicles and frisking of civilians passengers has been intensified in and around the city.

“Every possible step is being taken to maintain law and order,” a police official said. “The monitoring of the city has also been increased through CCTVs and police in civvies.”

The security measures also include the use of sniffer dogs for checking the vehicles and civilians.

At scores of places, forces have erected Nakas, where vehicles are being made to stop for checking.
“My vehicle was stopped at three places in uptown,” said Mohammad Shari, a shopkeeper from Batamaloo.
“My vehicle was frisked at four places, and I had to show my identity card every time,” said Noor Mohammad, a resident of Bijbehara in south Kashmir. His office is in Srinagar.

Police has already launched a massive crackdown on the Hurriyat camp.

Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Geelani, was already under house detention while Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief, Muhammad Yasin Malik, has been arrested.

Scores of middle-rung separatist leaders and activists have gone underground to evade detention.
Hurriyat has called for a boycott of the polls, accusing New Delhi of trying to “thrust and enforce” panchayat and municipal elections upon the people of Kashmir.

The militant outfits have also called for boycott and threatened to harm those who participate.

In the last 24 hours, two political workers were shot dead in old Srinagar.

The attack has created an anxiety among the candidates who have been seeking adequate security.

The government has said it has hired 300 rooms to put up the candidates.

Additional Director General Law and Order, Muneer Ahmad Khan, said they have made “adequate” security arrangements for the polls.

“These polls will be held very peacefully. The security has been intensified to ensure no untoward incident happens,” Khan said.

Meanwhile, the government on Saturday announced a holiday in the areas on the day they go for polls in the upcoming municipal elections.