Boycott, clashes mark Valley’s round 2
SRINAGAR: Voter turnout in Srinagar-Budgam-Ganderbal parliamentary constituency remained poorer than Ananatnag, even though the authorities had invested men, material and muscle in order to cross the South Kashmir score of 28 percent. Srinagar ended up with just 25.62 %.
Throughout the day protesters engaged police and CRPF in pitched battles while the boycott call sponsored by almost all separatists received an overwhelming 74.28 percent response. People had shut their routine businesses in response to the strike call extended by Syed Ali Geelani and others.
Addressing a press conference in Banquet Hall, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Umang Narula said that the Srinagar constituency which comprises of three districts Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam recorded 26 percent polling Wednesday. “There are many reasons for a lower turnout,” Narula asserted.
In 2009, the Constituency had recorded 25.55 percent polling, according to officials.
Srinagar district recorded 11.46 percent polling, Ganderbal recorded 45.61 percent polling and Budgam recorded 39.50 percent polling, he said.
There are 15 segments in Srinagar constituency and the lowest polling was recorded in Habba Kadal segment with 4.3 percent and highest was recorded in Charar-e-Shareef with 65 percent, according to official figures.
In Srinagar, Hazratbal recorded 17.92 percent polling, Zadibal recorded 5.59 percent polling, Eidgah recorded 10.85 percent polling, Khanyar recorded 10.22 percent polling, Habba Kadal recorded 4.3 percent polling, Amira Kadal recorded 7.73 percent polling, Sonwar recorded 17.14 percent and Batamaloo recorded 12.98 percent.
Budgam recorded 38.67 percent polling; Chadoora recorded 35.38 percent polling, Beerwah recorded 32.64 percent polling, Khan Sahab recorded 28.83 percent polling and Charar-e-Shareef recorded 65 percent polling.
The Ganderbal segment recorded 30.5 percent polling and Kangan recorded 60.5 percent polling.
On being asked why Srinagar constituency recorded low turnout despite large scale detentions and no militant attack, the CEO replied by saying there are reasons. There are local issues, many issues, bigger issues, he said.
The officials also said that there was no bogus voting in any polling station of Srinagar constituency.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Abdul Gani Mir said that an official has been suspended after two journalists were thrashed by police last week in Kulgam district.
We have suspended an official and the investigation is on, he said.
The IGP said baring stray incidents of stone-throwing, the polling in Srinagar remained peaceful and day passed off peacefully. (GNS)
Moderate to low polling was recorded Wednesday in the parliamentary constituency comprising Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts while as people of Srinagar city responded to the hurriyats call for boycott and mostly stayed away from polling booths.
The poll boycott call had total effect in Srinagar where the voter turnout at most polling booths counted zero by noon while polling at several other booths was negligible.
Reports reaching here said that many paramilitary troopers besides a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader, his PSO were among 12 people injured during clashes at several parts of central Kashmir.
In Soura, Srinagar, scores of youth attacked Government Boys Higher Secondary School polling station, leading to injuries. Shabir Ahmad, a PDP youth leader and his PSO was injured. Two vehicles were also damaged in the attack.
According to reports, presence of bogus voters triggered the stone pelting.
Similarly, youth attacked Anchar polling station by hurling stones over it. However, no one was injured in to the incident. The voter turnout in both the polling booths was very low.
The polling stations at Maliksahab and Roshanagar in Nowhatta area of old city wore a deserted look till Wednesday till 1 pm. Only four votes were cast in Maliksahab and Roshanagar till 2.00 pm. Out of registered 568, only three used their franchise in Maliksahab while just one vote was balloted out of 266 votes in Roshangar.
At Islamia School Gojwara polling station, 1 vote has been cast out of 767 registered voters. In Rajouri Kadal, out of total 412 votes, no vote was balloted till 1 pm.
Similar situation were witnessed in most volatile parts of Srinagar city which include, Soura,Rainawari, Gojwara, Lalchowk, Maisuma, Gowkadal, Habakadal,Safakadal, Eidgah, Hawal and severasl other places.
In these areas, the youth were seen chanting pro-freedom and anti-election protests.
Meanwhile, Legislative Assembly Speaker and senior National Conference (NC) leader Mubarak Gul was on Wednesday afternoon reportedly seen sitting on a chair inside a polling station at Eidgah, Srinagar.
At Regional Public School, Gul, who had already voted, was sitting inside the station during the voting, official sources said.
Thousands of troopers were deployed at every nook and corner of the city in old city areas including Nowhatta, Kawdara, Rajouri Kadal, Bohri Kadal and Khanyar for smooth polls.
At the Hyderpora and Barzulla polling stations, only a few voters were seen.
In the morning, strong pro-freedom protests broke out in old Barzulla where scores of youth gathered near the bridge and started shouting pro-freedom slogans.
Moderate polling was witnessed in district Ganderbal where voters could only be seen in ones and twos at the pooling booths.
Most areas of the district remained completely shut while all public and private transport remained off the roads.
Stone pelting clashes also reported at Tulmulla area of Ganderbal district. Only 11 votes at four polling booths have been casted since morning.
At Barsoo, Saloora, Tulmullah, Barsoo, Khurhama areas of Ganderbal complete boycott amid stone throwing clashes have been witnessed as no vote was casted since morning.
Only one vote was cast by a mentally retired person at Barsoo polling booth, sources said.
At Kangan, most of polling booths, people are waiting in queues to exercise their franchise. So far there has been no report of untoward incident.
Subsequent to the moderate to heavy polling in Kangan, anti-election protests also erupted in Kangan town. The protesters were later chased by forces with causing any injury.
This is the first protest seen in Kangan since this morning. Elsewhere in Kangan, moderate polling is witnessed.
However, anti-election protests and clashes were reported from Mancho, Kralpora and its adjoining areas. The voter turnout in these areas remained very thin till 4:00, the officials said.(GNS inputs)