The re-poll ordered by Election Commission of India in 38 polling stations of Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, where the by-poll on April 9 was marred by violence, began Thursday amidst tight security arrangements.
The polling began at 7 am and will end at 4 pm. All these polling stations are located in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, the worst-hit by violence during polling on Sunday.
Seven of the eight deaths in security forces firing during Sunday’s polling took place in Budgam district, especially in the areas where the Election Commission ordered to hold a repoll on Tuesday. Adequate arrangements of security and videography have been made for re-polling at the 38 polling stations.
The district administration has imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPc in the entire Budgam district, except in the areas where polling is taking place. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J-K, Shantmanu yesterday reviewed the arrangements for the re-poll at a high level meeting convened in Srinagar.
Shantmanu said the poll process at all the polling stations will be videographed and one micro-observer from central government offices will also be deputed for each polling station where repolling is being conducted. He said all other arrangements mandated by the Election Commission of India for ensuring free and fair polls have also been put in place.
Only 7.14 per cent of the 12.61 lakh electorate cast their votes during the polling for by-election to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on Sunday amidst large scale protests and violence around polling stations at dozens of places across the constituency.
Nine candidates, including National Conference stalwart Farooq Abdullah and ruling PDP’s Nazir Ahmad Khan are in the fray. The counting of the votes for the constituency will take place on April 15.
The seat fell vacant following resignation of PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra both from the Lower House of the Parliament and his party in protest against the “atrocities” on people during summer agitation last year in the wake of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.