Civilian killing marks first phase of LS polls in Kashmir | KNO

Brisk polling in Kupwara, boycott in Sopore, Hajin; No serpentine queues in Hajin, Sopore; first timers exercise franchise eagerly
Civilian killing marks first phase of LS polls in Kashmir | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, April 11 (KNO) : The first phase of Lok Sabha polls was marked by the killing of a class 7th student of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district while as another civilian was injured. The slain was identified as Owais Mushtaq Mir, a resident of Handwara area of Kupwara who was injured seriously in the clashes that broke after the day-long voting. He was brought dead in the district hospital Handwara, a witness said. Another youth sustained injury but was out of danger, witnesses told KNO. Meanwhile, amid the heightened security arrangements and internet gag across nort Kashmir, the frontier district Kupwara today polled 51.68 percent of votes in a day for Baramulla parliament constituency with serpentine queues being witnessed in many places. Sopore and Hajin areas in Baramulla and Bandipora constituency witnessed almost complete boycott. Kupwara: Young boys and girls joined lines to exercise their franchise claiming to bring change and stop the bloodshed in Kashmir. Over 2.35 Lakh people polled their votes for Baramulla constituency from Kupwara district with polling starting from 7 Am in the morning to 6 Pm in the evening. Voters reiterated to bring change and believe the leader they have voted for will bring the needed cum desired changes. First time voter, Farooq Ahmad, from Aloosa Kralpora, who exercised his franchise said: “I would vote for Er Rashid since he according to me is competent person who has leadership qualities and can talk about the suffering of people in Parliament Since whole Kashmir is witness of Highway ban, Tinkering to special article of J&K and Endless civilian killings, my motive to vote is these thing should stop and only Er Rashid can raise such issues in Parliament.” While as he said that, development is part of country but what matters is a life, Special status of J&K that has to be saved development can be done at any time, major issues are to be considered rather than development. A retired police official, Abdul Gani, from Krlapora, who polled his vote, claimed that, I'm voting only for the purpose that is, "Resolving the Kashmir issue" with no other intentions I arrived here, he said. A handicapped person, Waseem Ahmad, from Jagerpora who, believes that it's only Sajad Gani Lone who works for the poor people, according to him Sajad lone is the best choice for north Kashmir who as Social Welfare Minister has brought relief to all the specially-abled persons, he said that, my purpose to vote is seeking more and more development for “our area.” An elderly, Abdul Ahad Lone from Jagerpora said that, “I have voted for development since our area hasn’t seen as much over the years. Abdul Qayoom, 54, who is resident of Karnah sector said that, my purpose to vote is bring relief to the people of our belt who have suffered in every aspect so far. He said that, I hope Er Rashid will rise our demands which others members have so far failed to do. Hajin locals stay away from electoral process People of Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district portrayed a unique stance by staying away from the election process citing “shift from mainstream to pro-Kashmir issue politics as a major reason.” During a daylong polling, at many polling stations not a single vote was cast. In Hajin block of Bandipora district, known as "hub of Ikhwan led by dreaded pro-government commander Kuka Parray, the scary-seen and the low percentage of voting was recorded The security deployments were seen in every street of Hajin town to stop untoward incidents. However, no such incident had happened during day long polling. Rameez Ahmad, a local resident of Hajin told KNO that the minimal number of voting had casted in the town as the entire town is still mourning the 14 year-old slain Mudasir Ahmad and Saqib Bilal who were killed during 25 hours long gunfight in Mujgund area of Srinagar few months ago. He further added that his sister had advised all the family members not to cast their votes over the atrocities happening in the vale. Another local youth told KNO that he along with his associates had counselled others for boycotting Lok sabha Election. He further added that they wouldn't forget the innocent killings happening in Kashmir since 1989. Meanwhile, an old woman, aged 80 years cast her vote for BJP in Garoora Bandipora, a hometown of former MLA Bandipore Usman Majeed. While talking to KNO, the woman said, “Mei tro tawae vote, taki Kashmiruk musli gase hal", I cast my vote so that Kashmir issue will be resolved". She added that she wouldn't have any more need than solution of Kashmir. In the meanwhile, minor clashes were reported at Gundpora and Qazipora area of District Bandipora after final turnout. People of Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district portrayed a unique stance by staying away from the election process citing “shift from mainstream to pro-Kashmir issue politics as a major reason.” During a daylong polling, at many polling stations not a single vote was cast. In Hajin block of Bandipora district, known as "hub of Ikhwan led by dreaded pro-government commander Kuka Parray”, the scary-seen and the low percentage of voting was recorded. The security deployments were seen in every street of Hajin town to stop untoward incidents. However, no such incident had happened during day long polling. Rameez Ahmad, a local resident of Hajin told KNO that the minimal number of voting had casted in the town as the entire town is still mourning the 14 year-old slain Mudasir Ahmad and Saqib Bilal who were killed during 25 hours long gunfight in Mujgund area of Srinagar few months ago. He further added that his sister had advised all the family members not to cast their votes over the atrocities happening in the vale. Another local youth told KNO that he along with his associates had counselled others for boycotting Lok sabha Election. He further added that they wouldn't forget the innocent killings happening in Kashmir since 1989. Sopore follows Hajin: Many areas of Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district including Brath, Duroo, Warpora and other areas people remain away from polling booths. There was no queues seemed outside the polling stations. Villagers preferred to stay inside their homes curfew lie restriction were imposed ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Reports said not a single vote was polled in the native village of Afzak Guroo Jagir Doabgah. Same situation was in the native village of Hurriyat chairman Sayed Ali Shah Geelani Duroo Sopore people of the area stayed away from polling booths.Scores agitated youth were seen outside in three polling booths started pelting on Security forces since morning In which one CRPF man received minor injuries. Reports said polling staff was awaited whole day for voters at three polling booths in the village, not a single vote was casted out of 2718, which records remain zero. Meanwhile authorities was busy in to close polling booths and was started pelting on forces in various polling booths including Jamia Qadeem, Duroo,Warpora Seloo,Nowpora, Arampora and other places in which one employee was duty at Jamia Qadeem received injuries namely Bashir ahmad Ganie and was rushed to SDH hospital . Meanwhile not a single vote was cast at one of the most Volatile area Brath Kalan Sopore where so many local militants are active and most of them were killed in last three years, officials said that the village recorded Zero percentage. (KNO)