SEC reviews security, other arrangements

State Election Commissioner, J&K, K K Sharma, today said that foolproof mechanism has been put in place to ensure secure, peaceful and transparent DDC polls and Panchayat by-elections in the Union Territory.

He said these elections would go a long way in ensuring decentralization of powers to the grassroots level.

The SEC was interacting with all Deputy Commissioners of Jammu division through video conferencing during a meeting that he chaired to review the law and order situation and security arrangements for the polls to be held between November 28 and December 19.

The meeting among others was attended by Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, IGP Jammu Mukesh Singh.

‘Arrangements are being put in place to ensure conduct of polls in a free and fair manner across the UT”, the SEC said, adding that they have to ensure safe elections are held in the UT.

While obtaining necessary feedback from the concerned Deputy Commissioners of different districts, the SEC was informed that adequate security arrangements shall be provided to all participating candidates whether party based or independent including star campaigners besides all other facilities to ensure comfortable campaigning in their respective areas.

Terming these elections as historic and watershed in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, the SEC said that the DDC-polls which are being held for the first time in the UT, are important and shall ensure district-level leadership to the people besides accelerating the development activities in every area and village.

Besides discussing the law and order and the security arrangements, the meeting also discussed Heli-services to far flung areas of Jammu division and other districts, an official statement said.

The SEC directed the Divisional Commissioner Jammu to ensure that snow clearance is done in the areas which are snowbound or are likely to get the snowfall in coming days.

He said that an effective mechanism should be put in place so that the voters do not suffer and areas do not remain cut off from the district headquarters.

While reviewing the special arrangements of postal ballots for various categories of people including senior citizens and COVID- 19 positive persons in isolation and migrant voters as well, the SEC said that they should ensure everyone who can’t turn up to the polling booth is given the opportunity to exercise his/ her right to franchise.

The SEC asked the officers to ensure that necessary awareness is also created among people to follow all Covid related SOPs including use of facemasks and hand sanitizers while participating in the election process, the statement said.

He also asked concerned officers and officials to ensure availability of facemasks and hand sanitizers at all polling booths during the voting process to ensure containment of the spread of Covid-19.