Kashmir Indepth

Special observers arriving on March 18 to take ‘control’ of JK

Srinagar, Mar 12: The three observers appointed by the Election Commision of India for monitoring the situation in Kashmir ahead of Lok Sabha polls commencing from April 11 are all set to arrive in the region on March 18, reliable sources told Kashmir In-depth.

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Election Commission on Sunday appointed three former civil servants Amarjit Singh Gill (IPS 1972 Batch, Former DG, CRPF), Noor Mohammad (IAS 1977), and Vinod Zutshi (IAS 1982) as special observers for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Three observers were appointed by the Election Commission of India on Sunday after it cited security reasons for delaying the Assembly polls that otherwise were due for the State. The ECI Sunil Arora announced five phased Lok Sabha polls in the strife torn Jammu and Kashmir from April 11. Interestingly, for the first time in the poll history of Jammu and Kashmir, the ECI announced three phased polls.one South Kashmir Lok Sabha Seat due to.the fragile security situation there. The four southern districts of Kashmir have been under tight grip of new age militancy ever since young militant commander Burhan Wani was killed in July 2016.

The situation in south Kashmir continues to remain on edge. Sources said that the three observers appointed by the Election Commission of India will stay in Kashmir and also visit Jammu to assess the ground situation and also monitor the nature of poll campaign launched by the political parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“The observers will also monitor whether the political parties may misuse social media for the electoral gains,” sources in the ECI revealed to the Kashmir Indepth.

Though political parties of JK including National Conference, PDP, Congress and even BJP had demanded both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together but ECI announced otherwise.

Sources said that the observers will gauge the ground situation after remaining stationed in the state for a few months and it was in their feedback the ECI will take a call on holding Assembly polls in the state.

“It seems impossible for the commision to hold Assembly polls till August-September at least,” said sources.

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