Srinagar wears true colours of democracy
Srinagar, February 1
Elections were peaceful, barring stray incidents like that of stone pelting at a booth in Maisuma, the city heart. Last night a polling officer was injured when militants hurled a grenade at Batmaloo High School booth.
Despite threat perception, the electorate that barely yielded 5.2 per cent turnout in the last parliamentary elections today voted 18 per cent. They abused political agents, jumped queues, withstood chill – assuming the role of a “maturing” electorate. While a shop remained closed, the voters’ response was mixed in North, South, East and Hazratbal police zones, carved for the purpose of polls.
Though the day dawned in the shadow of fear with anti-election elements hurling stones at Maisuma booth, voters elsewhere were determined to participate. In Maisuma, Javed Ahmad Mir of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Forum led the anti-election rally. As angry separatists put tyres and quilts on fire to intimidate voters, the police resorted to a lathicharge. And though Maisuma, also home to the JKLF hardliner Yaseen Malik remained deserted, there were other dull pockets that wore the colour of democracy today.
East zone (Dalgate, Lal Chowk, Khanmot, Pathanchowk,) recorded the highest turnout of 22 per cent. South Zone, comprising Rajbagh, Hyderpora and Batmaloo polled 8.2 per cent. North Zone with Bemina, Parimpora and Lawayapora polled 15.41 per cent and Hazratbal zone (Zadibal, Lal Bazaar, Zoonimar, Bachpora) polled 14 per cent.
M.L. Kak adds from Jammu: Barring stray incidents of clashes among supporters of rival candidates leading to protest demonstrations in three areas, polling in 71 wards for the Jammu Municipal Corporation passed off peacefully today.
While 60 per cent of 399 polling stations witnessed heavy polling, ranging between 65 and 70 per cent in the remaining booths the voting percentage varied between 50 and 55.
Byelection in JK on February 24
New Delhi, February 1
Mr Qayoom, the National Conference member and former minister, passed away on January 1.
As per the schedule, the notification will be issued on February 7. Last date for filing the nomination will be on February 14 and the scrutiny, the following day. Last date for withdrawal of nominations is on February 17.