25,000 additional paramilitary forces are being sent to Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) elections. 60 companies are being sent from CRPF while the rest from BSF, SSB and ITBP.
“Basically troops which were de-inducted because of the Bihar elections are now being sent back,” an officer told CNN-News18. The DDC elections are being held in the backdrop of terrorists targeting local political workers in Kashmir. At least nine political workers have been gunned down in the valley since May with those associated with the BJP bearing the brunt of the attacks.
Central BJP leaders and local Congress leaders have asked for more security for their political workers.
“We had come to request the Election Commission about the basic minimum security to be provided to our leaders. We have raised the security concerns with the poll panel,” chief spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress Ravinder Sharma said after meeting the Election Commission demanding security.
Advisor to LG and former CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar reviewed the security situation in the valley along with DGP Dilbagh Singh and other senior officials of the security grid. Terror groups in the past have issued threats before polls and Singh said there is a possibility of terrorists trying to disrupt the upcoming polls.
Officials point out that ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LOC is an attempt to aid infiltration by terrorists. Intelligence inputs suggest 300-350 terrorists could be waiting at launch pads along the LOC to cross over before snowfall completely shuts off infiltration routes.
The first phase of the DDC polls and the bypolls to Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies will take place on November 28. The eight-phase elections – the first electoral exercise since ending of special status – will conclude on December 22.
At the security review meeting, Singh said, “There is a need to be more vigilant and cautious in view of the possibility of terrorists attempting to disrupt the democratic process in J&K. Continuous attempts are being made by elements across the border to create trouble here.”
Security forces will use drones to monitor the situation in and around polling stations, officials said.