Defer Anantnag bypoll, PDP nominee urges EC; 7.14% turnout in Srinagar


srinagar-clashesJ&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tassaduq Mufti on April 10 appealed to the EC to defer the vital Assembly LS bypoll scheduled to be held April 12.

It may be noted here that Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts had remained the epicentre of the last year unrest and the anger is still visible.

The development comes in the wake of the Valley being locked down following the death of eight people and 200 others were injured in clashes with security forces in Srinagar LS seat bypoll on April 9. Such was the protesters’ frenzy, they hurled a petrol bomb at a polling booth in Ganderbal on April 9 and by noon, 118 polling stations had closed.

This apart all examinations of Kashmir University have been postponed. New dates for the same will be notified separately.

“You just cannot force people to vote and can’t force them not to vote,” Mufti said.

Reacting to his statement, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that if the polls are postponed then Mehbooba must resign and the Governor must take charge. The National Conference leader said Mufti’s remarks were a sign of the government’s failure, something the BJP must be alert to.

Government schools designated as polling booths ahead of the Anantnag bypolls were attacked by miscreants. The entire Valley has been turned into a fortress with hundreds of troops stationed at colleges and schools where voting will be held.

Meanwhile, separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said, the leadership has decided to observe a two-day shutdown on April 10 and April 11 to express “our collective grief”.