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EC full bench discusses JK bypoll issue with Home Secy

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Commission and the Home Ministry today discussed measures to ensure a violence- free bypoll to the Anantnag seat like cutting down on the number of polling stations for better security.

Chief Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and his two Commissioners held talks with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, who assured them of providing adequate paramilitary forces for the bypoll to be held on May 25, official sources said.

The assurance from the Union Home Secretary assumes significance as there were voices within the Mehbooba Mufti- led coalition in for postponing the bypoll, citing law-and-order situation in the Valley.

There were large-scale violence during the bypoll to the seat on April 9 in which eight people died.

Several trade and travel bodies had made representations to the state seeking postponement of polls till November keeping in view the tourist season as well as Amarnath Yatra.

Mehrishi conveyed to the Election Commissioners that all required forces will be provided but it would be convenient if the EC provides details of security forces required in advance.

There were around 1,600 polling booths in Anantnag constituency but after the violence during bypoll, the of the state had suggested to the to reduce the number of polling booths.

As per the revised list, there are more than 1,200 polling booths in the Anantnag constituency which are spread over four districts.

The Centre had sent 30,000 paramilitary personnel to the Valley for poll duty but majority of them had been brought back after the elections were postponed to May 25.

Conducting elections in this parliamentary seat will be a daunting task for the EC as well as the state as several areas in South Kashmir have presence of local as well as foreign militants, the sources said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 19 2017. 19:42 IST