With terror threats looming large, sensitive Srinagar has been turned into a fortress to ensure smooth and violence-free polls on Wednesday. More than 35,000 security forces men have been deployed in the three districts of the central Kashmir, which forms the Srinagar parliamentary constituency.
The extraordinary security arrangements have been made in view of the threats issued by dreaded Hizbul Mujhadeen asking people to stay away from the polls or be ready to face the consequences.
As many as 291 companies of the central paramilitary forces have been deployed in Srinagar. This excludes the local policemen posted for the poll duties in the three districts of central Kashmir. Each company of the forces comprises 80 jawans and officers.
"Around 241 companies of central armed police companies have been deployed for booth security. They include CRPF, BSF and SSB. In addition 50 companies are on law and order duties in the areas which are prone to stone-pelting," Kishore Prasad, CRPF spokesman, told dna.
Election authorities have set up 1546 polling stations at 968 locations across the three districts. Of which 324 stations in Budgam district have been declared critical.
Security forces have pressed mobile bullet-proof bunkers into service to keep anti-national elements at bay. Frisking and checking have also been intensified. Additional security nakas have been set up.
Road opening parties (ROPs) have been placed en route to all polling booths for sanitization.
Around 47 battalions of CRPF are currently deployed in the Kashmir valley. Of which 23 are deployed in Srinagar alone. In addition SSB too is deployed in Kashmir for law and order duties.
For the first time, CCTV cameras mounted on vehicles have been parked outside sensitive installations, traffic crossings and other vulnerable places. This is in addition to the CCTV cameras already installed in the city.
Quick reaction teams have been formed for quick and prompt response to any untoward incident during the voting.
Extraordinary security arrangements and reduction in the polling schedule by one hour have been necessitated to prevent separatists from disrupting the poll process.
Separatist leaders have called for a complete boycott of Wednesday's polls asking people to enforce a 'civil curfew' in the constituency. Tension has mounted across Central Kashmir after two explosions rocked near the venue of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah's rallies in Srinagar and Magam areas on Sunday.