Boycott mars last phase of polling in Pulwama, Shopian districts | KNO

Majority of polling booths wear deserted look in twin districts, Over 100 polling stations witness zero voting, Evening clashes at time of forces’ withdrawal, scores injured
Boycott mars last phase of polling in Pulwama, Shopian districts | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Pulwama, May 06 (KNO) : A close to total boycott marred the last phase of Lok Sabha elections in the restive south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Shopian as majority of polling booths registered zero per cent polling as people preferred to stay indoors.

According to the extensive tour of KNO team in the poll bound areas of twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian, that saw majority of encounters between militants and government forces since 2017, people of all ages preferred not to vote with the result majority of polling bound areas witnessed deserted look with polling booth sitting idle. “This area will never vote. We are for freedom and those voting are enemies of Kashmir,” said a group of youth of youth sitting on a roadside at Murran chowk Pulwama. “We have many youth here, who have lost their vision due to pellets. How can we betray them.” However some elderly people were slowly walking towards a polling station.

“We will vote against BJP, lets see what happens,” said elderly Abdur Rashid Dar, who was flanked by another elderly Ghulam Mohiudin Bhat, a resident of Muran, Pulwama. At Shopian, situation was quite similar to that of Pulwama. Majority of polling booths wore deserted look as no voter was tuning out to cast votes. “We were expecting this here,” a polling staff member told KNO. At Imam Sahib area of Shopian, where three militants of Hizbul Mujahideen including the last surviving member of Burhan Wani group—Lateef Ahmed Nengroo alias Lateef Tiger, were killed, dozens of youth were on roads to ensure no body votes.

As per official reports, more than 100 polling stations registered zero voting while as many others registered voting in between ten to 50. Till 4 pm, Shopian registered 2.64 per cent voting while as Pulwama witnessed 1.91 per cent voting only, lowest ever in the six seven phased polls that concluded today.

Massive clashes erupted in several areas of South Kashmir in Pulwama and Shopian districts as polling staff began to withdraw from polling stations. Witnesses told KNO that violent clashes broke out at Khrew area of Pulwama where three youth sustained injuries. Witnesses said that three youth sustained serious wounds in clashes at Khrew, who were later hospitalized. According to KNO correspondent at least four youth injured in Shopian were clashes broke out this evening.

Reports of clashes were also received from Tral, many areas of Shopian and from several villages of Pulwama. Youth resorted to stone pelting which was retaliated with tear gas canisters by forces as they accompanies polling staff returning from the booths. Polling ended at 4 pm in the twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian for Anantnag parliamentary constituency. "As the polling staff began withdrawing they were stone pelted at various location leading to clashes with forces," reports said. Till late evening, clashes were going on in various parts of Pulwama and Shopian. (KNO)


(File Photo Use)