Indian security forces shot dead eight protesters in IHK

The violence today will have an impact on the conduct of another bypoll for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat that is scheduled on April 12.

Violence marred the polling in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency with eight people killed in firing by security forces.

Officials believe around 300 people were injured in the clashes between civilians and security forces. "All these pro-India parties have been fooling us", said Gulzar Ahmad, a young man in Shia-dominated Budgam, who had voted in 2014.

State chief electoral officer Shantmanu was candid that Anantnag, the nerve centre of last year's unrest, is a "much bigger challenge". He is the only son of Mufti Sayeed and is brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Around 65 CRPF personnel were injured in today's violent protests, which were continuing in many places.

On the low voter turnout, the former chief minister alleged, "The tragedy is that the government is frightening them". The separatists called the "boycott" a success and mourned the deaths. Meanwhile, re-polling has been ordered in 150 polling stations in the Srinagar seat which were hit by violence.

The separatists have called for a two-day bandh from Monday to protest the killings of seven civilians.

These groups have rejected local elections and urged voters to boycott Sunday's poll, which took place after a politician resigned over what he described as the "anti-people" agenda of the Indian government.

Six people are dead and scores injured after police clashed with protesters during a by-election in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Former chief minister and working president of National conference Omar Abdullah while referring to the civilian killings on Sunday said that "it was a awful day".

In widespread clashes with security forces, protesters tried to storm polling stations soon after voting started at 7am. "I have been a politician for over 20 years". He said 3.84 per cent polling was recorded in Srinagar, 8.82 per cent in Budgam and 14.71 per cent in Ganderbal districts. The constituency has 12.61lakh voters.

State and paramilitary police fired bullets and shotgun pellets as thousands of protesters shouting slogans against Indian rule charged into voting booths in Budgam district near the main city of Srinagar.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that "joint resistance leadership", including Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik, has chose to call for shutdown in Kashmir on Monday and Tuesday.

A 40-year-old shopkeeper in Srinagar, who spoke to Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity, said he did not cast his vote because "these elections don't mean anything".

"We know hartal would not affect government policy towards us but it is the only option to express our collective grief", separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farroq, Syed Ali Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik had said in a joint statement.

  • Leroy Wright


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