Defying Poll Boycott, Kashmiris Vote in Large Number

Just as last assembly polls, Kashmiris came out in large numbers to cast their votes resisting the anti-poll boycott call given by the separatist faction of Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani. After the heavy deployment of security forces, the valley had been bearing a curfew like situation a day before.

In Anantnag, people queued up the polling stations from early morning to exercise their franchise, hoping to elect a government that would deliver on its promises.

“We want to elect a candidate who will help us and work for the upliftment and development of our region,” said Umer Majeed, one of the early voters.

“The polling percentage for Anantnag was 14.52 percentage at 1 p.m.,” one official said, adding, “Though there is less voting in cities and towns in (the districts of) Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam, rural areas have witnessed a better turnout.”

It should be mentioned that the separatists have called for a 50-hour shutdown in the valley against the polls.

It is for the second time that the separatists had to suffer a major setback after residents defied the boycott call given by the Hurriyat. Earlier, during the State Assembly polls held in November 2008, people had came out in large numbers to cast their votes.

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