SRINAGAR (Web Desk) – In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown is being observed in the Valley today (Monday) in protest against the enactment of the drama under way in the name of municipal and panchayat elections in the territory. Polling stations wear a deserted look due to people’s boycott of the farcical elections, reported Kashmir Media Service.
Call for the strike has been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik and supported by other organizations including the High Court Bar Association. The four-phase polls for the so-called local bodies in occupied Kashmir are scheduled to commence, today.
The authorities have placed Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar, Hakeem Abdul Rasheed, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Muhammad Yasin Attai and Syed Imtiaz Haider besides several activists under house arrest or in detention to ensure smooth conduct of the polling.
Various Sikh bodies including Sikh Intellectuals Circle, International Sikh Federation and Sikh Students Federation are also boycotting of the elections.
Meanwhile, curfew-like restrictions are imposed across the territory. Indian army, police and paramilitary forces have been put in riot gear to deal with anti-India protests, today. Dozens of check-posts have been established in Dalgate, Gupkar Road, Maulana Azad Road, Residency Road, Amira Kadal, Budshah Bridge, Jahangir Chowk and Batamaloo areas of Srinagar.
Forces have intensified frisking all across the Valley. Besides, motorbikes and private vehicles, pedestrians are being subjected to vigorous checking at check points.
Over 400 companies of paramilitary forces are deployed in Kashmir for the election duty. The authorities have suspended mobile internet services in most parts of Kashmir Valley including Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla districts.
Interestingly, polling stations wear a deserted look in all wards of central and north Kashmir districts during the first phase of municipal elections.
According to the Election Commission, a total of 1283 candidates will be contesting in the 422 municipal wards, today.