National Conference and Congress members were seen raising ‘Indian democracy murdabad’ slogan in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday.
The NC and Congress members, unhappy with the decision to defer the election in the Anantnag parliamentary constituency till May 25, today gheraoed the Anantnag Distroct Collector and raised the anti-India slogan.
On Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir government in its report to the EC had said that the law and order situation in Anantnag is not conducive to the holding of free and fair poll while the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the Election Commission to postpone the Anantnag election.
The by-election was to be held on April 12.
The Anantnag seat fell vacant in June last year after Mehbooba Mufti won the assembly polls and resigned from the Lok Sabha.
After four days of closure, the highway was restored for one-way traffic from Sunday and vehicles were allowed to move from Jammu to Srinagar
One-way traffic will be allowed on the Srinagar- Jammu highway on Monday, a traffic department official said.
After four days of closure, the highway was restored for one-way traffic from Sunday and vehicles were allowed to move from Jammu to Srinagar.
It’s an orchestrated political murder: JKPCC Chief
Termed as a “terrorist” by the army, a former Congress Sarpanch was killed in a shootout in Dooru area of Anantnag district late Thursday amidst his month and a half long detention by police force.
Sajad Ahmad Malik alias Bitta was shot dead by Army in Aagnoo village of Dooru some 2 Kilometers ahead of his home in Battegund village.
The army spokesperson said that a terrorist has been gunned down in “Dooru encounter.”
There were however no further statements on the alleged encounter by the army.
Police have remained extremely tight lipped on the entire incident and there have been little answers on how the slain reached Aagnoo village while he has been under detention for the last more than a month now.
During the recent uprising, after serving for 5 years as a Sarpanch of the Congress party, Malik had publicly announced his dissociation from mainstream politics and had been participating in protests.
He was arrested for his role in the protests.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, has called the killing an orchestrated political murder and has sought a judicial inquiry into the killing.
“Yes he has been a part of protesting youth and he was booked for that under bailaible offences. But despite securing bail for him his family could not get him released for reasons better known to the police,” Mir said while talking to Kashmir Post.
He said that he too had called SSP Anantnag to inquire the reasons for Malik’s detention.
Mir said that Malik was today taken by a police man towards his home on a motorbike and was killed by the army in Aagnoo village.
“If, as they say, it was an encounter how and why did the police man return unhurt. Besides, I am told by my sources that the army had been waiting for half an hour before Malik arrived,” Mir said.
Mir questioned Malik’s continuous detention and the way his killing has panned out.
“He was the most honest man I have ever met from a humble background and a lot of domestic responsibilities on his shoulders. Mehbooba Mufti should explain this killing,” Mir told Kashmir Post.
At the central Jamia Masjid in old town Bijbehara, around 7,000 people offered Friday prayers, a third collective Jummah prayer in a row, following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.
People from all walks of life had converged from adjoining villages to present a unified message amid a show of defiance and support for the ongoing uprising that has gripped Kashmir for over three weeks now.
The speakers called for unity, asking people to remain steadfast and follow the Hurriyat calendar. A message from the Hizbul Mujahideen was also read out that sensitised people to “nefarious activities” of what it characterised “anti-movement activities” of certain elements.
The speeches were occasionally interrupted by the slogan shouting youth who had thronged the venue in strength. Many of the die-hard supporters of the ruling PDP who were present in the crowd showed untamed enthusiasm to fit in with the crowd and the defiant mood. Several of them were so forcefully responding to the slogans that it was impossible not to notice them.
It was glaring that the town is undergoing a tectonic change and the public mood has fast shifted towards azaadi. The lead speaker, Zia-ul-Haq Nazmi, who, only six months back, had designated the former chief minister Mufti Sayeed as Mard-e-mujahid and mard-e-haq while leading his janaza prayers today censored the current pro-India government as tyrannical. In a direct reference to the PDP leadership, he described them as ‘zalim’ and ‘jabir’ and likened them to the Nimrod. He also called them ‘munafiqeen’ and prayed for their destruction. Three weeks back, he was stopped to lead the janaza prayer of 22 year old student, Aamir Nazir Latoo, who was killed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police without any provocation. Sensing the public mood, Nazmi later publicly apologised for his ‘mistakes’ an oblique reference to his leading Mufti’s Janaza.
Another speaker, Mufti Shabbir Qasmi, stressed on continuing a peaceful struggle but called for a complete social boycott of the ‘friends of Modi’. At this moment, people shouted: ‘Modi ka jo yaar hey, ghaddar hey ghaddar hey’. The PDP supporters in the crowd looked extremely perplexed.
Senior pro-freedom leader Ghulam nabi Sumji also spoke on the occasion. He urged the people to exhibit steadfastness at the “crucial juncture’ of the freedom movement.
Soon after the prayers, a group of youth carrying large green flags with slogans in favour of azaadi took out a march that converged at the recently renovated martyr’s graveyard at the New Colony. As the procession passed by Mufti Sayeed’s fortified ancestral residence, it presented a deserted look with no sight of security.
The place is usually bustling with the Mufti loyalists and supporters. Even at the peak of pro-freedom insurgency, one could see some sporadic presence of human activity. But today it looked frozen in fear of the woken up masses – there was no movement inside the house lending a ghoulish feel to the immediate surroundings. Their concrete security bunkers lain abandoned signifying a power vacuum in changing times. There are reports that Muftis abandoned the town to safer heavens in Jammu and elsewhere as soon as the first public uprising started to file on the streets.
In a separate event, a first of its kind in the town, a large procession of about 2,000 women gathered at the ‘Shaheed Burhan Park’ yards away from the martyr’s graveyard. After the Friday prayers, they later took out a procession shouting pro-freedom slogans and travelled through the town and ended back at the ‘Shaheed Burhan Park.
Government forces on Saturday resorted to aerial firing and used teargas shelling to prevent a fro-freedom rally in Chee village of Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
40 civilians, including seven women, were injured in the forces’ action, reports said, adding that the injured were shifted to District Hospital for treatment.
The rally of different religious thoughts was scheduled at 11 am, said a local.
“The forces raided the venue, ransacked the dias and took away tents when we were making preparations for the peaceful rally,” he alleged.
“When some people tried to resist the government action, they (forces) resorted to aerial firing, lathi-charge and teargas shelling, leaving around 40 persons injured.”
Various religious organisations and thoughts have been organizing peaceful pro-freedom rallies in different villages of south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 08.
At least 28 protesters were wounded when forces fired teargas shells and pellets to quell the protesters at Sirigufwara village in south’s Kashmir Anantnag district on Thursday, witnesses said.
Forces also used force to quell the pro-freedom demonstration at Seer and Aishmuqam areas, witnesses said, adding that several people were injured in the forces action.
A massive pro-freedom rally organized by different sects was held at Kanelwan village in Bijbehara and at Wachi Shopian in south Kashmir on Thursday, witnesses said.
They said religious leaders of various sects and pro-freedom addressed these gatherings.
A mob on Thursday set ablaze the house and orchard of Ghulam Mohammed Shaikh, the maternal uncle of one of the Hizbul Mujahideen militants, Sartaj Shaikh, who was killed along with Burhan Wani and another terrorist last Friday.
The mob did so on the suspicion that it was Ghulam who had acted as a police informer, and given away Burhan’s whereabouts. Residents of Bamdoora village on Larkipora-Kokernag road in Tral alleged that Wani was killed in a fake encounter. They said he was caught on Friday morning and killed the same day, explaining the mob’s rage against Ghulam in burning down his house in which Burhan was hiding and was eventually killed.
In Bamdoora village, nine houses have been set on fire in the last couple of days because the agitated youth suspected a few other villagers to be ‘mukhbir’ (police informers).
A high density fruit orchard in Kokernag, set up in 2009 in by a US educated Kashmiri farmer, too was over-run by a mob. The orchard was an innovative method for apple growers in the entire valley, the farmer, whose name is being held back, said.
A police spokesman denied the villagers’ claims saying while they were indeed on the look out of the 22-year-old terrorist, and had deployed sophisticated tracking devices to locate him, Burhan was killed in an encounter after he refused to surrender, and instead he and his associates began firing from the house.
It was then that they fired back and eventually used landmines to blow up the house where Burhan had been hiding.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was leading by nearly 3,000 votes against her nearest rival as counting in this south Kashmir assembly constituency was briefly disrupted on Saturday after Congress supporters alleged that bogus votes were being counted in the name of postal ballots.
But the vote count resumed immediately even as dozens of supporters of Congress candidate Hilal Ahmad Shah shouted anti-government slogans and protested over “unsealed” postal ballots.
Shah alleged that postal ballots were “not properly sealed and were basically bogus votes”.
The returning officer refused to entertain his protest, leading to a ruckus inside the counting hall of Government Degree College, Anantnag and disruption in the vote count.
The counting resumed shortly after the Congress activists walked out but continued their protest in the lawns of the college.
After the first two rounds of counting, Mehbooba Mufti was said to have polled nearly 4,200 votes and Shah had a little over 1,200.
The counting of votes polled on June 22 began in the morning and the results should be known before midday.
Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is one of the eight contestants. Among the others are Shah of the Congress and Iftikhar Hussain Misgar of the National Conference.
The constituency has over 84,000 eligible voters and and nearly 28,500 voted on Wednesday despite a poll boycott called by separatist politicians and militants.
The by-election was necessitated because of the death of the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who represented the constituency in the assembly, which has an effective strength of 87.
Sayeed passed away in New Delhi on January 7 after a brief illness.
Mehbooba Mufti assumed power after being sworn in as the Chief Minister of the PDP-BJP coalition government on April 4.
It is mandatory for a Chief Minister or any other minister in the state to become a member of either house of state’s bicameral legislature within six months of being sworn in.
At present, Mehbooba Mufti represents the south Kashmir Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in parliament.
Congress today blamed PDP for using muscle power and official machinery during polling in Anantnag on Wednesday.
In a statement here a Congress spokesman said, “Despite having crossed all limits in just concluded Anantnag by-polls, the PDP- BJP coalition could not ensure the percentage of votes in the as was expected by them, which is indicative of the resentment against PDP for having betrayed people for power.”
The Congress spokesman also accused PDP for using muscle power during voting in order to secure votes for “RSS backed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti,” “People have lost faith in PDP because of the betrayal by this Party, as a result, the Party used official machinery and goons for securing votes, which has exposed it again,” the spokesman added.
“PDP from the day one has been accusing other parties for indulging in booth capturing and using muscle power, but the same PDP crossed all limits in order to save their already dented image. It is surprising that Chief Minister herself visited polling booths to ensure that PDP goons were given free hand to secure votes for her,” the spokesman alleged.
Out of 26650 votes polled upto 5 p.m, 14380 are male voters and 12270 are female voters, he said.
He added that the total number of registered voters in Anantnag Assembly segment is 84067 including 42840 males and 41227 females.
There are 102 polling stations in the constituency.