BARAMULLA - More than 30,000 security men have been deployed to ensure free and peaceful voting in 1,616 polling stations in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency of Jammu and Kashmir. Police and intelligence agencies have termed the May 7 voting for this Lok Sabha seat as their most serious challenge, given security logistics in the 15 assembly segments in Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts.
Of the total polling stations, 1,091 have been declared hyper-sensitive and 455 sensitive. Only 70 have been declared normal by the Election Commission. Director General of Police Ashok Prasad said the security forces face three serious challenges - separatist boycott calls, threats from militants and the possibility of stone pelting by anti-national elements to dissuade voters from exercising their democratic right. Election officials have started reaching the polling stations escorted by paramilitary forces and police. A low intensity explosion, which police said was caused by a petrol bomb, occurred May 6 morning in a middle school building in Watergam in Baramulla district. Although no damage was caused to the school building, the fact that it occurred at a place where a polling station is being set up for voting became a cause for concern. Around 1.18 million voters would be deciding the fate of 15 candidates. (IANS)