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Parliamentary Elections: Srinagar, Udhampur to go for polls tomorrow

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Srinagar, Apr 16: Over 29.81 lakh voters will decide the fate of 24 candidates contesting for Srinagar and Udhampur Parliamentary seats, the polling for which is scheduled on Thursday, April 18, the second Phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019.

The twin constituencies have 2,981,083 registered electors including 1,543,571 males, 1,416,387 females, 21,056 service voters (20,780 males and 276 females) and 69 transgender voters.

Twelve candidates each are in fray for both Srinagar and Udhampur parliamentary constituencies. For smooth conduct of polls, 4,426 polling stations have been set up in the twin constituencies.

 

The Srinagar constituency is spread over 15 Assembly segments comprising three districts of Central Kashmir-Ganderbal, Srinagar and Budgam with 1,295,304 registered voters including 1,294,560 General voters and 744 service voters.

Among the general voters, 667,252 are males and 627,282 female electors. Among service voters, 728 are males and 16 females, while there are 26 transgender voters.

The authorities have set up 1716 polling stations across the Parliamentary constituency to facilitate the polling.

The candidates in the fray are Sheikh Khalid Jehangir of Bharatiya Janata Party, Aga Syed Mohsin of J&K Peoples Democratic Party, Abdul Rashid Ganie of J&K National Panthers Party, Dr Farooq Abdullah of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, Showkat Hussain Khan of Janta Dal United, Abdul Khaliq Bhat of Shiv Sena, Irfan Raza Ansari of J&K People’’s Conference, Nazir Ahmad Lone of Rashtriya Jankranti Party, Nazir Ahmad Sofi of Manavadikar National Party, while Bilal Sultan, Sajjad Ahmad Dar, Abdul Rashid Banday are contesting as independent candidates.

In 2017 By-Elections, the electoral strength in the constituency was 1,261,395.

 The By-Elections witnessed the victory of National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah by defeating his close rival Nazir Khan of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate by 10,766 votes. The seat was left vacant after Tariq Hamid Karra’s resignation.

In Udhampur Parliamentary constituency, those in fray are Tilak Raj Bhagat of Bhujan Samaj Party, Dr. Jitendra Singh of Bhartiya Janata Party, Vikramaditya Singh of Indian National Congress, Harsh Dev Singh of JKNPP, Ch. Lal Singh of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party, Mohammad Ayub of Navrang Congress Party, Meenakshi of Shiv Sena and Bansi Lal, Rakesh Mudgal, Shaber Ahmad, Garib Singh and Firdous Ahmed all independents.

The constituency is spread over 17 Assembly segments comprising six districts of Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua.

The Udhampur parliamentary seat has 16, 85,779 electors of which 1,665,467 are registered as general voters and 20,312 as service voters.

Among the General voters, 876,319 are males and 789,105 females. The service voters include 20,052 males and 260 females, and 43 transgender electors.

For the smooth conduct of election in the PC, the Election Commission of India has established 2,710 polling stations.

In 2014 General Elections, the number of voters in the constituency was 14,69,072.

The last parliamentary election was won by Dr. Jitendra Singh of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) by defeating his nearest rival Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress. Singh secured 487,369 votes while Azad managed to bag 426,393 votes.

The polling will be held on April 18 in both the constituencies of the state.  The voting hours have been fixed from 7AM to 6 PM.


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Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.

Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.

“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.

 

The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.

“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.

“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.

“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.

Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.

Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”

On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”

He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.

“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.

“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.

Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”

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Held Pak militant paraded before media

‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.

During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.

“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.

 

 “I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.

The militant was soon moved away.

SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.

“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.

He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.

“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.

The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.

“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.

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Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24

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New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.

The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.

The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.

 

Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.

Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand.  The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.

Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.

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