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Low voter turnout in Kashmir amid violence

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    Low voter turnout in Kashmir amid violence

    ANANTNAG, India, Oct 4 - An election agent was killed and more than a dozen people injured in a series of blasts in India's Jammu and Kashmir state on Monday, deterring voters from turning out for national polls in Anantnag constituency.

    "Overall voting turnout at the end of the day in Anantnag constituency was only 14 percent," B.D. Sharma, the state's deputy chief electoral officer, told Reuters.

    An election agent was killed and four people wounded in a landmine explosion in Pampore, 40 km (25 miles) north of Anantnag, on Monday morning.

    "In the morning, IED (improvised explosive device) blasts took place near polling stations. Three security personnel and two election agents sustained injuries. Later, one election agent succumbed to his injuries," a police spokesman said.

    Kashmir's leading separatist alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, had called for a boycott of India's parliamentary polls.

    Voting in Anantnag had been set for September 18 but was postponed after a candidate of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was killed in a landmine blast early last month.

    The constituency has more than 800,000 voters and 994 polling stations, all of them considered sensitive or hypersensitive.

    Many voters claimed Indian security forces forced them to go to polling stations but authorities denied the charge.

    "In the morning, they (soldiers) announced on the loudspeakers of a mosque asking people to come out to vote or face the consequences," said the head of Ranbirpora village on the outskirts of Anantnag town.

    But the authorities said the presence of the security forces was only meant to build confidence among voters.

    "These reports are baseless and we only intensified the patrols in the villages to build confidence among the voters," an official spokesman said.

    Two paramilitary personnel were injured earlier on Monday in an explosion near Shopian, 65 km (38 miles) from the state's summer capital, Srinagar.

    A police officer was wounded when militants detonated a landmine in a polling booth at Ashajipora in Anantnag, police said.

    Separatists on Sunday fired rockets at a paramilitary bunker near Litter, 70 km (40 miles) south of Srinagar, injuring nine security personnel.

    Nearly a dozen militant groups are fighting against New Delhi's rule in the state where police and hospitals say more than 25,000 people have been killed in a decade of rebellion.

    And to think that the Indians on this site would like you to believe that the turnout in the elections in Occupied Kashmir was really high and that the Kashmiris love India and that the 25,000 people killed were all Pakistanis. Yeah I just saw pigs fly.

    If there is violence, there'll be low voter turnout. Where is surprise?


      Question is not of surprise but one of how representative these elections are? India would like the world to believe that these elections were free, even if the soldiers shot dead young kids who refused to vote. It vivdly illustrates the saga of the freedom fighters and the illegal occupiers. Of course, when you trample on peoples rights there will be voilence Where is the surprise there?


        If u blow up booths, kill the candidate, threaten voters, they may not vote. Everyone loves his/her life. Let us ask the reverse question. How legitimate is the boycott?


          How legitimate is the boycott, ask the victims of the Indian brutality in Occupied Kashmir and they will tell you. Blowing up an election booth may be preferable to having your sons shot by the occupying army for refusing to vote. Democracy in practice, Indian way.


            The world is fedup of Pakistan's false propoganda, even the world leaders has appreciated the way the elections were held in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan is bent on giving false information to the world but there are no takers where as the rumors of Kashmiris votings at the gunpoint is concerned there were no reports from any world news broadcasts there is only one broadcast called the PTV whose news is only worth watching by the pakistanis.

            Pakistan, this technique has become old try to find some new ways to demoralize India, even the world knows that Pakistan is lying when it comes to foreign policy on India. Pakistan has become a rogue to all its neighbours including China and Russia.


              SajjadM, try the BBC. I was watching it the other day, the reporter had been standing at a poll for the entire day and only a trickle of voters came in. He concluded that the people of Kashmir are apathetic for a reason. Whatever that reason is, you can speculate. It seems pretty clear to most.




                The BBC reporter was not mentioning that the Kashmiris were told to vote on gun point. I hope you understand the reporters english.


                  The news item listed above was carried by a western new agency and not Pakistani media. The world knows who the rappists and looters are in Kashmir. I have always stated and restate it again, if you are so confident about your claim on Kashmir hold a refrendum and the truth will come out. But then India believes in democracy only if you agree with them, if you disagree then they will come and rape, loot and kill you. Kashmir is a case in point. Gharib you havve obviously not seen photographs of a young boy shot by trigger happy killers of the Indian army in world newspaper who was shot because he refused to vote. Democracy at its best in India

                  [This message has been edited by ehsan (edited October 05, 1999).]



                    If you have forgotten let me remind you that a few years back a young boy was killed by the Pakistani forces for taking morcha against child labour. Don't peep into someone elses house first keep your house perfect.


                      Turn out for polling was quite low in consituencies in J&K. This was to be expected when the "mujahideen" had warned those who polled to get ready to face the consequences. The 15% polling might well be due to coercion of the locals by the Indian Army. Democracy cannot thrive when terrorism looms.


                      btw, did you know that the avg. poll percentage for Pakistan in the last elections was in single figures? Do i hear you questioning democracy in Pak.?
                      Simple ain't easy.


                        The Sunday Times (UK) magazine carried a vivid report on missing persons in Kashmir with photographic evidence of torture published in their magazine. The reporters were smuggled into the valley because of course, the international media is banned in case they uncover the real truth behind the misery of the lives of the Kashmiri people under occupation by the paramilitary junta sanctioned by BJP.



                          >paramilitary junta sanctioned by the BJP<

                          Is the report in the Sunday Times on recent incidents during the elections? I suspect it is on HR violations by the Indian forces in general. Your above phrase is unjustified, aren't you playing the BJP-hindutva card a bit too often?
                          Simple ain't easy.


                            Not at all. Keep denying it and I'll keep supplying the evidence.


                              Ok, let's see...

                              The BJP's been in power for hardly anytime. Does your Sunday Times article show any marked increase in the number of torture cases by the Indian forces in connexion with the BJP's coming into power? I'll bet it doesn't. So where does the BJP come in? I insist that you are using "BJP" as a lureword.

                              >the international media is banned<

                              Take a look at the latest National Geographic.
                              Simple ain't easy.