Violence In The Kashmir Valley Forces EC To Countermand Anantnag By-poll

The Anantnag by-poll has been put off by the Election Commission of India in view of the increasing incidence of violence in Kashmir Valley.

New Delhi: The prevailing law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir led to countermanding of Anantnag Parliamentary by-election by the Election Commission on Tuesday. Another reason cited by the EC is the inability of Union Home Ministry to provide a required number of the security force to conduct the election smoothly. The election was scheduled to be held on May 25.

It is a known fact that violent incidents in the valley increased of late and there was only two percent voter turn out in the recently held Srinagar by-poll. Taking all these factors into consideration the EC decided to defer the election.

The Election Commission countermanding the by-election to Anantnag Parliamentary seat in an order on Tuesday said that while the commission sought 687 companies of security personnel for the election, the Home Ministry replied to it that it can only send 250 companies. The police sources informed EC that the situation is tense and hence EC sought the aid of Home Ministry.

The State chief secretary informed the commission about a large number of violent incidents that took place in the valley. He also informed them about the attacks on political leaders and reports of militants harassing policemen and their families to create an environment of insecurity and fear.

Expressing apprehensions that if the election is conducted on May 25, as scheduled, the valley might witness largescale violence and might result in an even lower voter turnout. Hence, the State administration wanted the election to be deferred at least up to October end.

As the Holy month of Ramzan is fast approaching, the commission considered deferring the election.

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