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Security intensified in Kathua J&K ahead of counting for Udhampur LS seat 10k staff to be deployed

Jammu, June 1: Security was intensified in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district on Friday, ahead of the June 4 vote counting for the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency.

 

The Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency saw a 68.27 percent voter turnout on April 19, with 11,07,821 of the 16,23,195 eligible voters casting their ballots. The election will determine the fate of 12 candidates, including Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh.

 

Security has been beefed up tonight and measures include deployment of additional personnel at key locations to prevent any disruptions, the officials said.

 

The checking of vehicles and frisking of people have also been intensified, they said.

 

Nearly 10,000 staff members will handle the counting process, including the transfer of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from strong rooms to counting halls, they added.

 

“The counting will take place at Government Degree College Kathua, with multi-tier security and 24×7 CCTV surveillance to ensure a fair process. Votes from all 18 assembly segments, including Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Ramban, and Kishtwar, will be counted in designated halls”, Returning Officer Dr Rakesh Minhas said.

 

Three halls are set aside for counting the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) votes, he added.

 

A total of 225 tables, with three personnel each, will be used for the counting process. For ETPBS votes, 60 tables are designated, along with three personnel each, the officials said.

 

Each counting table will have a counting agent, a micro observer, and a supervisor, along with an Assistant Returning Officer (ARO), they said.

 

The CCTV footage of the EVM strong rooms has been shared with political party representatives.

 

A counting control room is equipped to compile and update hourly trends, supervised by Minhas, who is also the District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Kathua, the officials said.

 

An election media centre with LED screens, DTH connections, and WiFi will facilitate the media personnel, providing continuous news access and updates on results. Controlled access to the counting process will be in line with Election Commission of India (ECI) guidelines, they said.

 

Dr Minhas assured that logistics and security arrangements are in place, and food, water, and refreshments will be provided to all individuals involved in the counting process on June 4.(PTI)

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