Kashmir Indepth

Three observers meet election commission


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The Special Central Observers Dr Noor Mohammad, IAS (1977, retd) , Sh Vinod Zutshi, IAS (1982, retd) and Sh. A.S.Gill, IPS (1972, retd), appointed by the Election Commission of India for assessment of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, met with the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra at ECI Headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The spokesman said that Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner welcomed the Special Central Observers and thanked them for having accepted this onerous and delicate assignment, which entails assessing the situation of J&K on real-time basis in the context of para 62 of the Press Statement given by CEC on 10th March, 2019 while making the announcement of the schedule of elections:-

“The Commission will be regularly and on real-time basis monitoring the situation in J&K and will also be taking inputs from all necessary quarters and decision regarding holding Legislative Assembly elections in J & K will be taken soon.”

During the meeting, it was requested to the Special Observers that they may kindly visit the State at the earliest, a suggestion which was accepted by them. Ashok Lavasa and  Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioners also briefed them during the interactive session which lasted for almost 2 hours.

DEC-in-charge of the State Sandeep Saxena briefed them about the preparedness of election in J&K and gave other details regarding the State.  The Commission discussed with them about their roles and responsibilities. The three Central Observers would be required to visit the State and make a real-time assessment of the situation by meeting Political Parties, district and state authorities and other stakeholders.

A S Gill has wide experience in the field of security management in difficult areas.  He was IG: CRPF  in J&K between 1995-97 and subsequently superannuated as DG: CRPF.  Dr Noor Mohammad, a former Secretary to Government of India has worked more than a decade in the fields of election management as Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh, Deputy Election Commissioner in ECI, international expert and consultant on the election in Afghanistan for many years.  Vinod Zutshi, former Secretary in the Central Government also has wide experience for more than a decade in elections at the state level as CEO, Rajasthan and at the ECI level as Deputy Election Commissioner for more than five years, the spokesman said.

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