Security beefed up in Kulgam ahead of Monday polls
Srinagar, Apr 28: Stringent security arrangements are in place in Kulgam district of south Kashmir, part of the Anantnag parliamentary constituency, which is going to the polls on Monday in the second leg of the three-phased poll schedule for the Lok Sabha seat.
The Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency is spread over four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama with 16 Assembly segments. The Lok Sabha polls to this constituency are being held in three phases due to security reasons.
A multi-layered security set up has been put in place for protection of polling booths, handling of law and order problems and thwarting the designs of anti-national elements to disrupt the polls, officials said.
All of the 433 polling stations have been designated either as 'hyper-sensitive' or 'sensitive' and a massive security layer has been thrown around these polling stations, many of which have been clubbed, they said.
The Kulgam district has 3,45,489 electors, including 1,79,607 males, 1,64,604 females, 1,265 service electors and 13 transgender voters.
The officials said 433 polling parties, comprising 1,732 polling personnel and 62 micro-observers, along with the poll material and EVMs/VVPAT machines were dispatched Sunday for different polling stations of Kulgam.
Kulgam has four Assembly segments of Noorabad, Kulgam, Homshalibug and Devsar.
Out of these, Kulgam Assembly segment has the highest number of 98,298 voters (51,051 males, 46,818 females, 455 service voters and four transgender voters) while Noorabad has the lowest 77,171 electors, including 40,093 males, 36,886 females, 188 service voters and four transgender voters.
The Assembly segment of Devsar has 91,288 voters (47,467 males, 43,324 females, 492 service voters and five transgender voters). Hom Shalibugh segment has 78,669 voters (40,996 males, 37,576 females and 127 service voters).
The officials said electioneering in the district ended on Saturday and remained by and large peaceful.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has curtailed the polling duration for the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency by two hours following a request from the state police. The revised polling timing is 7 am to 4 pm.
There are 18 candidates in the fray for Anantnag constituency, including PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Congress has fielded its state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, while former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi is contesting on National Conference ticket.
The other candidates in the fray include Zaffar Ali (People's Conference), former MLC Sofi Yousuf (BJP), Nisar Ahmad Wani (National Panthers Party), Sanjay Kumar Dhar (Manav Adhikar Party) and Surinder Singh (Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party).
Imtiyaz Ahmad Rather, Ridwana Sanam, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, Zubair Masoodi, Shamas Khwaja, Ali Mohammad Wani, Gh Mohammad Wani, Kyasir Ahmed Shiekh, Manzoor Ahmed Khan and Mirza Sajad Hussain Beigh are the independent candidates.