Put up in city hotels, candidates not happy with security arrangements
Srinagar: At least 79 independent candidates contesting municipal polls expressed displeasure over the security arrangements made by the government, claiming their lives were at risk.
The candidates have been placed in a hotel at Munawarabad here.
Talking to media, Muhammad Fazil Khan, an independent candidate contesting from Ward 62 of Rainawari, said only eight Personal Security Officials (PSO) were deputed by the government to guard 79 candidates.
“Are these three cabs enough for 79 candidates? Under this security system, we are vulnerable to attacks and there is no response from the higher-ups,” he said.
“We are two to three candidates accommodated in a single room. It suffocates us.”
He questioned “satisfactory” security arrangement made for the BJP’s candidates.
“If the government is determined to ensure BJP’s victory, then why all this drama of inviting independent candidates? We are being mentally pressurised to withdraw our nominations. Right now, every BJP candidate has a PSO and a weapon allotted for self-defence,” Khan added.
He said attack on the residences of independent candidates have complicated the situation for them.
“I am receiving threats constantly. Some of the candidates are here with families now. If these candidates have put their lives at stake by filing their nominations, it becomes government’s responsibility to take care of them,” he said.
The authorities, in view of the threats, have moved these candidates to the private hotels guarded by the CRPF personnel.
In Rajbagh and Dalgate areas, scores of the low-budget hotels and guesthouses have been booked by the government to accommodate the candidates from vulnerable areas.
Another candidate, who protested lack of security arrangement said their motive to contests election was “to keep BJP at bay”.
“We are not going to withdraw nominations. We want to show BJP that Kashmiris have got the potential to face them in the political arena. The government has to fulfil promises of securing every candidate,” he said.
The candidate said that the authorities have not arranged food for them properly.
‘Poll contestants put in highly guarded hired hotels’
Srinagar, Oct 04 : Additional Director General Police law and order and security Muneer Ahmad Khan on Thursday said that police has put poll contestants of municipal and panchayat elections in hired hotels already guarded by heavy contingents of police and paramilitaries.
Talking about the security plans for the poll candidates in future, Khan said “Government would think about incidental and cluster security after the polls are over.”
ADGP Muneer Khan said “the number of candidates for Panchayat and Municipal elections unlike assembly and parliamentary elections is very large and the number of candidates for ongoing civic elections is in thousands.
The candidates have to be provided security but police can’t provide security to every individual.
The strategy for incidental and cluster security arrangements is being given a serious thought and once the Municipal and Panchayat elections are over, the security of the all contestants will be reviewed.
Presently the candidates contesting municipal and panchayat elections have been lodged in hired hotels already guarded by the heavy contingents of police and paramilitaries.” (KNS)