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news details
Threats by stone pelters, militants keep people away from polls
4/19/2019 12:11:15 AM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Apr 18: The Centre might have acted against separatists, but stone pelters, militants and some Imams are still forcing people to stay away from polls.
This was witnessed on Thursday when groups of stone pelters were stationed outside polling booths and forcing people to go backwards.
"I want to vote but these people are not allowing me to reach to polling booth," Sajad Ahmad, a resident of Hawal said. "If we will move ahead then they may hurl stones at us," he added.
Another voter Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Ganderbal said he did not vote as some youth probably stone pelters are not allowing him to vote. "Later I returned back to home. It was also responsible to ensure these people are not given free hand," he added.
Polling on Thursday was by and large peaceful in Srinagar parliamentary constituency. But people were forced to close their shops in various parts of Srinagar. "After casting vote, when I open my shop, I was forced by a group of masked youth to shut my shop," a shopkeeper at Rainawari said.
He said that security forces also failed to act against these people.
"These people were roaming on roads for forcible shutdown. Still security forces did not take any harsh measures against them," he added.
The fear of militant groups was evident as many of the booths wore a deserted look and at certain places people tried to hide themselves from the assembled media persons.
Groups such as Hizbul Mujahideen had threatened to "throw acid" at candidates and asked people to remain indoors and not cast their ballots. Streets in Kashmir Valley wore deserted look and shops and business establishments were shut.
Several Imams, who are having affiliations with separatists, are under the scanner as they have been promoting violence through their sermons.
Sources within the police department said that various Imams have been giving sermons, which are anti-nationals.
"There are several Imams who have been spread hatred. Either they give anti-national speeches or giving sermons by criticising each other sects and asking people for poll boycott," a police official said.
The official said that police departments have been giving instructions to take action against such people who preach hatred.
Those who found involved so far are being "organisers and provocators" for their alleged role violence.
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