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Lok Sabha Polls | Special plan prepared to ensure smooth voting in polling stations on LoC in Rajouri

12:33 AM Apr 08, 2024 IST | Sumit Bhargav
lok sabha polls   special plan prepared to ensure smooth voting in polling stations on loc in rajouri
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Rajouri, Apr 7: The election authorities and district administration Rajouri has prepared a “Special Area Plan” for 45 polling locations falling on and near Line of Control (LoC) where people will go for voting in the Lok sabha polls.

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On April 26, people in half a dozen border villages in Sunderbani tehsil and Beri Pattan tehsils of the district will vote for Jammu parliamentary seat whereas people in majority of the border villages in the district will vote on May 7 for Anantnag Rajouri parliamentary seat.

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Four assembly constituencies in the district are under Anantnag- Rajouri parliamentary seat whereas lone Sunderbani-Kalakote Assembly constituency falls under Jammu seat.

Smooth election process especially on the day of voting has always been a challenge in areas located on as well as near the Line of Control (LoC) in recent years .The cross LoC shelling, referred to border shelling and ceasefire violation from Pakistani army, has always been considered as a worrisome factor.

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Although the situation on the LoC has improved to a major extent during past few years due to a ceasefire agreement between armies of both the nations and no incident of ceasefire violation including cross LoC shelling has been reported from any area in the district since then.

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However, even after this, the election authorities as well as the government administration in this border district has still taken large scale measures for smooth conduct of voting keeping “LoC shelling and firing” as an important factor.

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In the district, there are 22 villages in 20 panchayats in different tehsils which are located on and near the Line of Control and are directly in shelling zone. These villages fall in Sunderbani, Beri Pattan, Nowshera, Qila Darhal, Rajouri and Manjakote tehsils with a few villages and hamlets in the district are also located between the Anti Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS), referred to as LoC fense, and the forward area of Line of Control.

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These villages include Sehar, Makdi, Namb, Kadali, Pukharni in Nowshera sub division areas of Rajouri. There are two polling locations for these villages located ahead of AIOS and inside forward LoC.

For all these villages that are located on and near the Line of Control and are in direct shelling zone have been considered as “sensitive” and administration has taken a number of measures to ensure that the election process and especially the voting goes on smoothly even if there is some firing or shelling incident on the Line of Control.

There are 45 polling locations in these LoC villages with most of the polling stations are established in Government schools among which majority of the schools are having the facility of underground bunkers which are helpful in saving lives during shelling.

A “Special Area Plan” has been formulated by the election authorities and district administration Rajouri to ensure smooth election process specially on the day of voting in the border areas in case of border shelling and firing.

Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Om Parkash Bhagat, who is also the District Election Officer, said that under this “Special Area Plan” alternate locations for all the 45 border polling locations have been identified and administration can even go for shifting the polling stations to these alternate locations if there is any need due to situation on LoC. He added, " Special bullet proof vehicles will also be put on standby mode to shift the people to this alternate locations of polling if there is any such need," Bhagat said.

He also said that special medical facility have also been put in place that include deployment of ambulances at multiple spots in order to ensure that there is Swift response to any eventuality on the day of voting." We have also arranged a fleet of forty five vehicles for all these forty five border polling locations for shifting the polling location to alternate sites in case of shelling," the District Election Officer further said.

He also informed that Army will also conduct flag march in these border polling locations on the day of voting in order to boost the confidence of people and to strengthen the security apparatus. Regarding security measures, he said, all necessary security measures have been put in place and a solid security grid is working for election conduct in these border areas.

"Besides deployment of required number of personnel at the polling locations, our forces are also maintaining a high level of alertness to ensure adequate security arrangements in these areas," he said.

Om Parkash Bhagat, who is presently heading the district administration in the border district Rajouri and is also the District Election Officer thereby heading election department, assured that election process especially the voting in the border areas will be held in a completely smooth and peaceful manner and all required measures have been put in place.

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