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EC seeks 73,000 central security personnel for LS bypoll in J-K’s Anantnag

The Anantnag bypoll was postponed following the violence marred bypoll in Srinagar. Polling is slated to be held on May 25.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2017 23:49 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Anantnag,Bypoll,Lok Sabha
Paramilitary troopers stand guard after the violence in Srinagar.(AFP)

The Election Commission (EC) has sought around 73,000 central security personnel to conduct the Anantnag parliamentary constituency bypoll, a demand termed ‘unprecedented’ by the Union home ministry.

“To conduct assembly elections in five states recently, the home ministry provided around 70,000 security personnel and we have been asked to provide more than 73,000 personnel for one parliamentary constituency. It is not even logistically possible to send such a large number of personnel to Jammu and Kashmir in a short span of time,” said a senior home ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The officer asked if 73,000 personnel are required to hold bypoll in Anantnag, would be feasible to hold elections there at all.

The EC has demanded 735 companies of central forces with one company roughly consist of around 100 personnel.

For the combined bypoll of Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies, that was scheduled for April 9 and April 12, the home ministry had provided 300 companies — around 30,000 personnel, far more than 10 to 12 companies that are required for holding elections in a parliamentary constituency in any other state, said sources.

But the Anantnag bypoll was postponed following the violence marred by-poll in Srinagar in which only 7.14% polling was recorded, the lowest in three decades.

Now the Ananatnag bypoll is slated to be held on May 25.

“Logistically speaking, we can provide 150 to 200 companies of central forces for the Anantnag by-poll. We already have 54 companies stationed in Jammu and Kashmir that can be spared for election duties,” added the official.

As of now, the final decision on number of personnel is yet to be taken.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 23:49 IST