HELD SRINAGAR: In view of rising militant violence, apprehension of stone pelting and boycott call given by the freedom fighters, at least 300 companies of security forces would be deployed for smooth conduct of by-polls to parliamentary seats in Held Kashmir.
“At least 300 security forces companies would be deployed for smooth and peaceful polling for by-polls in the Valley,” IG CRPF Kashmir Ravideep Sahi told New Indian Express.
The by-polls for Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat in Central Kashmir and Anantnag-Pulwama seat in South Kashmir would be held on April 9 and 12 respectively.
IG CRPF said of the 300 companies to be deployed for poll duties, 180 will be from CRPF and rest will be from SSB, ITBP and J&K police.
He said around 150 CRPF companies have been rushed from outside state for their deployment for poll duties in the Valley; 70% of the companies have reached and 30% are on the way.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, who spearheaded over five months of unrest in Valley last year after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, have urged the people to boycott polls and stage 2016-like protests in the Valley on polling days for the by-election to two Lok Sabha seats.
According to Sahi, area domination is being conducted by the security personnel and checkpoints have been set up to ensure smooth conduct of polling. “Besides CRF men are carrying out cordon and search operations at the suspected areas in coordination with J&K police and other security agencies,” he said.
The IG CRPF said they are assessing the situation on daily basis. “Since the security situation is changing all the times, we are also accordingly redeploying our men”.
There has also been a rise in militant violence in Valley and militants carried out three attacks on security forces in Srinagar in three days killing two CRPF men and injuring 23 security men.
Asked whether they anticipate stone pelting on polling booths during by-polls, IG CRPF said, “we are ready to deal with any contingency situation including militant attacks or stone pelting.
“We have geared up and our men would be deployed with anti-riot gears to take on the stone pelters”.
To a query whether any instructions have been given to security men to observe restraint while dealing with stone pelting incidents, he said the directions have been passed to the jawans and officials to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with the law and order situation.
“Losing a human being whether a stone pelter, a civilian or a security jawan is always unfortunate and demoralising,” he added.