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J&K panchayat bypolls deferred over security threat, says CEO

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday deferred the panchayat bypolls for a few weeks citing security concerns raised by the law enforcing agencies.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2020, 09.00 AM IST
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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday deferred the panchayat bypolls for a few weeks citing security concerns raised by the law enforcing agencies.

J&K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar on Tuesday issued a notification saying that the home department’s letter raised security concerns about panchayat elections based on credible inputs. “Home department… has advised deferring the conduct of elections based on credible inputs of law enforcing agencies,” read the government notification. The CEO informed that his office withdrew all the notifications regarding preparedness and schedule of elections announced on February 13.

“After addressing all the concerns suitably at the earliest, possibly in two to three weeks, fresh schedule will be notified,” the order said. J&K administration had announced that the panchayat by-elections, for around 1,3000 vacant seats in the newly formed Union Territory of J&K, would be held in eight phases from March 5 this year. This is the first political exercise in J&K, since the withdrawal of special status of J&K. The exercise was being conducted even when top politicians, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are in detention.

Meanwhile delegations of political parties including NC and PDP had met Kumar and urged him to ensure that the Panchayat by-elections happen on non-party basis and the party leaders are also released from detention.
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