Indian police martyr three Kashmiri protesters

A top police official confirmed the developments saying that three civilians were killed in Budgam district during clashes with government forces in the forenoon during polling.

A day ahead of polling for by-election to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, miscreants stepped up attacks on polling staff and polling stations in Kashmir's Budgam district, police said today.

In another incident, security forces opened fire to quell a stone-pelting mob in Ratxuna Beerwah area, leaving one Nissar Ahmed dead, the Times of India reported.

#Jammu and Kashmir: State's Chief Electoral Officer Shantmanu told PTI that only 6.5 per cent polling took place for the parliamentary Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat.

A security jawan guarding a street during the strike call by separatists against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jammu and Kashmir, in Srinagar. Director General of Police S P Vaid said security has been tightened and forces have been deployed in adequate number to thwart any attempt to disrupt the polls tomorrow. Till 3 PM, the voter turnout was a mere 5.84 percent.

Six persons were injured in the firing, of whom two later succumbed to injuries. Two youth were martyred in Delwin area of Charar-e-Sharif, two at Beerwah in Badgam district, while Shabbir Ahmad Butt and Aadil Ahmad Sheikh was killed in forces' firing on protesters in Chadoora and Narbal areas of Badgam, this afternoon.

Clashes were also reported from other places of the Budgam district were twenty protesters were hit by pellets in Soibugh village of central Kashmir.

Police detained hundreds of young people and separatist activists in the run-up to the polls, sources told AFP. The campaigning also remained a low-key affair amid fears of violence.

Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah blamed the ruling PDP-BJP alliance for the development.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed distress over the civilian killings, saying she was pained that majority were teenagers who were yet to understand the intricacies of the issues.

The protests in the wake of killing of Hizb-ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, support for militants witnessed in massive gatherings during encounters and at their funerals, and absence of any political initiative had a spillover effect resulting in extremely low turnout in elections.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir, which each claims in full but rules only a part.

  • Leroy Wright