Poll celebrations turn violent, two killed

SRINAGAR : Two people were killed after poll celebrations turned violent in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, leading to the death of two people, sources said Saturday.

The violence left scores of persons including a National Conference (NC) Sarpanch injured as the supporters of three different political parties caused huge damage to property including private vehicles.

Eyewitnesses told CNS that at Warsun hamlet of Kupwara district, Peoples Democratic Party supporters were celebrating the victory of their party candidate Muzaffar Hussain Beigh. Reports said that all the PDP supporters had assembled at the residence of PDP Gujjar leader Chodhri Salam-u-Din, a prominent Congress leader who along with his hundreds of supporters recently joined PDP.

“The atmosphere was cheerful and we were bursting fire crackers. Some of us left the spot and were on way to their home when Peoples Conference supporters attacked us with stones and lathi’s,” a PDP supporter, Muneer Ahmed told CNS adding that scores of PC supporters appeared on road and started attacking PDP workers.

Another eyewitness said that PC workers who were visibly ‘frustrated’ after the defeat of their candidate in the elections attacked the houses with stones and smashed scores of windowpanes.

Reports said that a police party led by Station House Officer Kralpora Kupwara Tanvir Ahmed reached the spot to diffuse the situation. The police driver reportedly parked his armoured vehicle on steep road.

“Police was able to diffuse the situation and the supporters of both the parties were pacified by the police. But unfortunately, when the police driver opened the window of the armoured vehicle, it automatically started moving as he had parked it downhill. The vehicle after moving ahead overturned and three persons were crushed under it.

The policemen immediately shifted them to hospital, however, two of them succumbed to their injuries.

Deputy Inspector General of Police North Kashmir Range Ghulam Hasan Bhat said that they have filed a case against the police driver under section 304A.

The DIG further said that it was the sheer negligence of the driver though whatever happened was an accident.

“We have already arrested the police driver and he is presently in custody,” Bhat said.

The two slain persons have been identified as Abdul Rashid Ganai and Abdul Rashid Bajad. The third injured person is undergoing treatment in Bones and Joints Hospital Srinagar and according to doctors he is stable.

Meanwhile, the high pitch slogans and extensive use of firecrackers by PDP workers reportedly ignited the group clashes between PDP and NC workers at Gulgam Kupwara, Kalarose Lolab, Watapora and Ahgan Raywar Handwara.

Eyewitnesses said that PDP jubilant supporters thrashed NC Sarpanch of Gulagam Kupwara when he along with his supporters objected to the sloganeering of PDP workers.

“PDP workers attacked the house of NC Sarpach Muhammad Ashraf Lone and thrashed him. The situation was brought under control after some PDP leaders intervened and stopped their party workers,” a resident of Gulgam said.

At Kalarose Lolab, the group clashes between NC and PDP workers created panic in the area as the supporters of the both the parties attacked the houses of one another with stones. Both the groups caused damage to the private vehicles and residential houses. An NC activist Muhammad Shafi Ganaie suffered head injury and he was rushed to SKIMS for treatment.

Reports said that at Watapora Handwara, two workers of a particular political party identified as  Muhammad Adil Bhat son of Abdul Qayoom and Muhammad Asif son of Abdul Ahad were seriously injured during the group clashes. Both the injured were later on shifted to Srinagar for treatment.

Reports said that security has been beefed up in scores of hamlets of North Kashmir to prevent group clashes. Army has been deployed in Warsun where situation is reportedly tense.

The timely action of police prevented group clashes between PDP and PC workers at Ahgam Rajwar in Handwara on Saturday.

SP Handwara Maqsood-ul-Zaman said that police and Para-military troopers have been deployed in strength at a number of places in Handwara including Kalarose, Gulgam, Rajward, Kralagund, Vilgam and Kulangam. (CNS)

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