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Panchayat polls ‘more challenging’ than ULB elections: Police

Srinagar, Oct 27: Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Muneer Ahmad Khan, on Saturday said panchayat polls were more challenging for them than the municipal elections.

“Providing security for panchayat polls is more challenging for us. In panchayat polls, the areas are spread far and wide, but we are prepared for it,” Khan told the reporters on the sidelines of wreath-laying ceremony for CISF ASI, Rajinder Prashad.

The nine-phase panchayat polls for 35,029 Panch constituencies in 4,483 Panchayat Halqas are schedule from November 17.

The elections were last held in April-May 2011 during the Omar Abdullah-led National Conference-Congress regime, then after a gap of 37 years.

The state postponed these polls several times in the last few years.

n the recent urban local bodies elections, people preferred to stay away from polls.

The voter percentage in Kashmir did not reach a two-digit figure.

Khan termed the increasing in attacks as militants’ “frustration”. “There have been a lot of successful operations. Ten militants have been killed in the last few days of various outfits without any collateral damage. The success of these operations depends upon the flow of information. Of course, there is frustration on the militants’ side and they are resorting to these attacks,” he said, referring to Prashad, who was killed during in a militant attack at Wagoora, Nowgam.

Asked whether the militants were showing presence in the summer capital by this attack, he said, “It is bordering Pulwama and Srinagar.”

He said that forces would continue their anti-militancy operations.

Over the comment of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who called stone-pelters as over ground workers of militants, Khan said, “I don’t want to comment, as I am junior to him.”

However, he said that case has been lodged under section 302.

An army soldier, Rajendra Singh was killed in stone pelting in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

On his death, General Rawat said, “Stone-pelters are nothing but over ground workers of terror outfits. I still say the same… If they (stone-pelters) can kill people with such acts, are they not becoming like terrorists?”