People overwhelmingly boycott polling in IOK

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: People overwhelmingly boycotted the fifth and final phase of Indian parliamentary election drama in Shopian and Pulwama districts on Monday.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), over 97 per cent voters stayed away from the polling process. The polling booths wore a deserted look and on several booths no single voter came to vote on Islamabad’s Lok Sabha seat.

Also, in Indian occupied Kashmir, over two dozen youth were injured when Indian troops fired pellets and bullets on protesters in Srinagar, Shopian and Pulwama districts.

According to Kashmir Media Service, at least five youth were injured after the troops used brute force and fired shells on protesters in Saraf Kadal and Kadikadal areas of Srinagar.

At least twenty more youth were injured as Indian police and paramilitary forces resorted to pellet and teargas shelling on protesters in different areas of Shopian and Pulwama districts. One Sohail Ahmad Dar was critically injured.

On the other hand, unknown persons hurled a grenade towards a polling station in Rahmoo area Pulwama district on Monday morning. However, no injuries were reported.

A petrol bomb was hurled by the unknown men at polling booth 47 located at Hergam Bathnoor in Tral. However, no damage was reported.

The clashes between Indian troops and protesters were going till filing of the report.

Some unknown persons also set ablaze a Panchayat Ghar, building of Revenue department (Pathwar Khana) and a polling station set up in Government High School Rajpora building in Pulwama district.

Meanwhile, two Indian troops were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast at Khanthawala in Kupwara district.

Also, complete shutdown was observed in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts, today. All shops and business establishments were closed while traffic was off the roads. Call for the shutdown and boycott was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership. Mobile Internet service remained suspended in South Kashmir, while train service between Baramulla and Banihal was also cancelled.

Election boycott symbolic referendum against India: All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani has termed the exemplary election boycott observed by the people of Kashmir as a symbolic referendum against Indian subjugation.

According to KMS, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar said that it is highly ridiculous on the part of India to make vain efforts to prove a military operation as a peaceful political exercise.

He lauded the resolve and commitment of the people for not participating in the election drama under the heavy army siege, adding that despite the armed crackdown, suffocating and obnoxious environment, Indian military might had miserably failed to convince people of the territory to repose faith in its “democratic institutions”.

Citing undeclared emergency and martial law on the occasion of so-called parliamentary elections, Syed Ali Gilani strongly condemned the barbaric attitude of India to strangulate the popular voice of right to self-determination by banning the political and religious organizations including Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front.

He also castigated the despotic and imperialistic approach adopted by India to turn Kashmir into a hell-like prison where innocent people not only get killed, maimed, blinded, ruthlessly beaten like animals, but also incarcerated randomly.