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Panchayat polls more challenging than civic elections: ADGP

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Srinagar, Oct 27: The panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be more challenging than the recently concluded municipal elections in terms of security, a top police officer said Saturday.

Panchayat elections in the state will be held in nine phases beginning November 17. The urban local body polls, held in four phases, began October 08 and ended October 16.

“The panchayat elections will be more challenging because the spread is too much as compared to the urban (local) body elections. But we are prepared for that,” Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order and Security, Muneer Ahmad Khan, said.

Khan was speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony for CISF officer ASI Rajendra Prasad who was killed in a standoff fire by militants at a power grid station in central Kahsmir’s Wagoora area during the intervening night.

The police officer said “the attack was an act of frustration on part of the militants as security forces have had huge success on the anti-militancy front recently.”

“… You have seen there have been a lot of very very successful operations in which, in the last two days, eight militants – belonging to various outfits – were eliminated and without any collateral damage.

“That means, the flow of information is good, operations are happening and of course, it is the frustration on the side (part) of the militants that they are resorting to these kinds of things,” he said.

The ADGP said the “success rate of anti-militancy operations depends on the flow of information”.

“If good operations are taking place that means the flow of information is very good and we intend to keep on doing such operations,” he said.

Asked if militants were on the back-foot because of the recent operations, Khan said “this goes on – sometimes back foot, sometimes front foot and sometimes ducking.

“The up and down scenarios are there, but we have to do our professional work and that we are doing,” he said.

Polling will be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27 and 29, and December 01, 04, 08 and 11 in the 35,096 panchayats in the state. The entire election process would be completed by December 17.

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