EC conducted bypoll in Kashmir 'ignoring' MHA advice

As per Election Commission, the level of violence in Kashmir during the polls included stone throwing and petrol bomb attacks by the mob.

Jammu and Kashmir chief electoral officer Shantmanu said these stations are mainly in Budgam district, where most of the violent clashes were reported.

The Election Commission on Monday night deferred the Anantnag Lok Sabha bypoll to May 25, citing inputs by the Jammu and Kashmir government that the law and order situation is not conducive.

These schools were turned into polling booths.

He also said that re-polling will be held at 100 polling stations that witnessed early closure due to violence.

Up to eight people were killed in Srinagar, Kashmir following police clashes with protesters during Sunday's by-election which was already mired by separatist factions' calls to boycott the vote in the disputed region.

Eight protesters were killed when the security forces opened fire during the voting process in the Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary by-poll on Sunday.

Armed encounters between rebels and government forces have become more frequent since the killing of rebel leader Burhan Wani by security forces last July sparked widespread unrest. The government has made a decision to suspend internet services across the Valley till the by-elections are over in the state, reported NDTV.

The constituency recorded little over 7 per cent voter turnout.

The BJP had demanded re-polling in the entire Srinagar-Budgam area. It will be held on April 12.

Shantmanu convened an all-party meeting on the issue of holding by-elections to three Anantnag parliamentary constituencies and to discuss issues related to by-polls held in Srinagar including re-poll at various polling stations affected by violence.

Criticising Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah said she should immediately resign as PDP government in the state has failed completely.

Sources privy to the development said top Commission brass met at least twice today to discuss precedents and various options available to it, so that the poll panel could take a considered view under these circumstances.

  • Leroy Wright