M A I N   N E W S

Militants attack CRPF camp, polling stations
Separatists held, supporters lathicharged
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Srinagar, May 4
On the eve of the Parliamentary elections in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir, militants tonight attacked a CRPF camp, hurling a grenade on it and setting off a gunbattle with securitymen at the Mattan Chowk locality. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is contesting from the constituency.

Earlier, militants hurled a grenade at a polling station at Shopian in the constituency, injuring a civilian.

Official sources said militants attacked a school, designated as a polling booth, with a grenade, which exploded, injuring Mushtaq Ahmad Wagay.

Militants also targeted a polling station at Awahama in Pulwama district, which falls in this constituency.

In another incident in the constituency, a girl was injured in a grenade blast, while Border Security Force (BSF) personnel seized arms and ammunition.

Official sources said the militants hurled a hand grenade towards a polling station setup in a school at Awahama in Rajpora tehsil of Pulwama district late last night.

However, the grenade missed the target and exploded at a distance without causing any damage.

Meanwhile, the police resorted to lathi charge to quell demonstrators protesting against the arrest of senior separatist leaders Shabir Ahmad Shah and Mohammad Yasin Malik along with their supporters for holding an anti-election rally in Anantnag today.

The election campaign in the constituency came to an end last evening prior to the polling scheduled for tomorrow.

According to reports from Anantnag, senior separatist leaders Shabir Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Yasin Malik and his deputy, Javed Ahmad Mir, and People’s League leader Shiekh Abdul Aziz were held while holding an anti-election rally at Lal Chowk, Anantnag, this afternoon.

Their supporters staged a protest and were roughed up by the police and taken into custody. This followed a ding-dong between the police and over 300 protesters who had gathered to attend the anti-election rally.

A tense situation prevailed in the Tral township of Pulwana district, part of the Anantnag constituency, today.

All shops and business establishments remained closed in the area today following beefed-up security arrangements for the polling tomorrow. Of the 14 candidates in the fray from the Anantnag constituency that was represented by the National Conference last time, the main contest is between the PDP and the opposition National Conference. The PDP has fielded its President and MLA, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, from the home constituency. She is pitted in a three-corner contest against the NC candidate, Dr Mehboob Beigh, and the CPM candidate, Mr M.Y. Tarigami.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the polling in view of a number of incidents, six of them major, in different parts of the constituency during campaigning. Ms Mehbooba Mufti had a miraculous escape while one person was killed and several others injured soon after she addressed a rally in the Kulgam area of Anantnag district last week. Several other incidents had also taken place during the campaign in this constituency.

Meanwhile, four militants, including two self-styled commanders of pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen were among five persons killed in militancy-related violence in Jammu and Kashmir where the security forces arrested a militant and seized 2 kg of RDX from his possession since last evening, an official spokesman said today.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |