Situation under control for DDC polls: Army

IGP Kashmir says providing security to each candidate is ‘difficult’

Srinagar Nov 19: A top Army commander Thursday said that situation was under control for District Development Council polls in Kashmir.
The District Development Council polls are scheduled to start from December 28 in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Security situation is under control. We hope people will come out and participate in large numbers and make DDC polls successful,” Sector commander of Army’s 9 RR regiment, Brigadier V S Thakur said.
At the same time Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that providing security to each candidate is “difficult”. “We are providing them with collective security and they are being put up in secure areas. Whenever any candidate goes out for campaigning, we provide a double escort with him and secure the area for him to the campaign,” he said.
The IGP said there were apprehensions about militants targeting the elections, but the security forces were fully prepared to deal with the situation.
“Whether there is an election or August 15 or January 26 or even a VIP visit, apprehensions are always there, but we are fully prepared. We are providing security to the candidates and they have started going to the field for campaigning from yesterday and there is nothing to fear,” he said.
He said four militants killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu region were on their way to the Kashmir valley to disturb the District Development Council (DDC) polls scheduled later this month.
Four suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were killed in the encounter near the toll plaza in Ban area of Nagrota on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway Thursday morning.
“For the last few days, Pakistan has increased attempts to infiltrate militants into this side and to disturb the elections for which the process is on. In this context, Jammu Police and security forces have done a good job by neutralising four Pakistanis (militants). Their (militants’) aim was to come to Kashmir to disturb the election process,” he said.
On a question about the number of militants waiting at the launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) to infiltrate into this side, the IGP said there were inputs that about 250 militants were there, but the security forces were alert to foil Pakistan’s designs.
Other security forces have already given the figures that about 200 to 250 militants are ready to infiltrate, but the security forces are alert. Pakistan endeavours to push more militants into this side, but the security forces are prepared to foil their designs, he said.
Asked about Wednesday’s grenade attack in Kakapora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Kumar said the police have identified the militant behind the incident.
“It was an unfortunate incident. The target was CRPF and police, but 12 civilians were injured out of whom four were rushed to a Srinagar hospital, but their condition is stable. We have identified the militant who threw the grenade and we are after him and will arrest him soon,” he said.

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