KR Report/Photo Face Book download Kashmir News Trust
Contrary to the expectations of contesting parties and candidate, the north Kashmir seat of Indian parliament has witnessed a low percentage of voting in the first half of the day polling for which is underway today. Just around 15 percent voters made it to the polling booths to cast their votes. A report from Hajin said that out of 1800 votes at three polling booths only one person had come up to cast his vote till 12noon.
Hajin, in the past one year, has remained the scene of increased militancy. However, on March 23, a wave of anger swept the area after two militants during an encounter with government forces used a 12-year old boy as human shield. The militants had got trapped in a house. They forcibly took the son of the house owner hostage and refused to release him despite appeals from the parents of the boy. The boy was killed along with the militants when government forces blasted the house by using explosives and IEDs.
Low to moderate polling has also been reported from other areas in Bandipora, Sopore, Baramullah, Pattan and other main towns and major villages.
However, long queues of voters were seen in Handwara, Langate, Naidkhai, Lolab, Uri and Rafiabad belts.
The constituency witnessed a brisk campaign by contesting candidates and parties with thousands of enthusiastic supporters attending rallies of the candidates of their choice. Former MLA Engineer Rasheed and former minister and BJP ally Sajjad Lone held massive rallies during election campaign.
This had created an impression that massive polling would be witnessed in the constituency on the day of polling.
Reports, quoting contesting candidates and party workers, said that the voting percent could increase in the afternoon.
However, independent observers believe that the voting is unlikely to pick up to the expected level as the trend in such cases is usually set in the morning with the casting of first vote.
Meanwhile a general shutdown is being observed across the valley in response to the call of Joint Resistance Leadership or JRL. The JRL has called for the boycott of the elections.
(Photo-Face Book download—Kashmir News Trust)