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2 cops killed, 16 poll officials hurt in Doda blasts
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, May 8
Two police personnel were killed and 16 officials on election duty were injured as terrorists threw grenades and exploded IEDs at several places in Doda district to scare the electorate as the campaign for the Udhampur Lok Sabha seat ended today.

The incidents of violence by terrorists in the past two days have created a scare among the people. Militant groups were reportedly threatening people in several areas to boycott the polls.

Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was unable to address an election rally in Kishtwar town this morning because of security reasons. He returned from the town without even going to the venue of the rally where many people had collected. The town observed a bandh during the CMs visit as a protest against acquiring cultivable lands for the construction of the power project.

Twelve poll personnel were injured as terrorists attacked with grenades the higher secondary school in the heart of Kishtwar town where the election staff was camping.

The Chief Minister was also present in the town addressing a meeting of the PDP and Congress workers in the guesthouse of the NHPC when the school was attacked. Two polling stations were scheduled to be established in the school during the polling on May 10.

Two police personnel, Abdul Qayum and Surinder, were killed in two separate IED blasts at Goli Bagh and Bhagwa a little distance away from the district headquarters of Doda. Four others were injured due to the blasts. Both constables belonged to the India Reserve Battalion (IRB).

Reports said that many schools in the area had virtually closed, as parents were not taking the risk of sending their wards to schools because of the terror that had been created by the ultras.

Terrorists threw a grenade at the Government Higher Secondary School at Bhaderwah which is also in Doda district. Later, a grenade was thrown in the Seri Bazar in the town in which a few persons were injured.

Being on the other side of the mountainous region of Anantnag, Doda district has become a hot bed of terrorists who are trying to scare the people so as to keep them away from the polling booths.

There were reports that the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Toiba outfits had ganged up to disrupt the elections in the Udhampur constituency. Many areas of the three districts of Doda, Udhampur and Kathua that constitute the Udhampur seat are terrorism affected.
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