Separatists Blanked Out After 75% People Came To Vote

3 December 2014

Srinagar: Militants and separatists got egg on their faces Tuesday, when people rejected their call for boycott of polls and cast their votes in large numbers in the second phase of polling in 18 constituencies spread over five districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Nearly 75 per cent people cast their votes in the second phase of polling held on Tuesday. The poll percentage is four per cent more than that of the first phase held on November 25. Gulabgarh recorded the highest polling percentage of 80.73 percent compared to 77.55 percent in 2008. It was followed by Gool Arnas with 80.28 per cent compared to 76.77 per cent in 2008. Karnah however recorded 75 per cent turnout compared to 79. 19 per cent in 2008. Lolab recorded 55 percent turnout compared to 68 per cent in 2008. Handwara, where former separatist leader Sajad Lone is in the fray recorded 71 percent turnout. The constituency had recorded 75.55 turnout in 2008. Langate constituency recorded 71 per cent turnout while Udhampur recorded 79.74 per cent. Chenani recorded 75.48 per cent turnout, Ramnagar recorded 75.19 per cent, Surankote recorded 65 per cent, Mendhar recorded 72 per cent, Poonch Haveli recorded 73.39 per cent, Noorabad recorded 77.60 per cent, Kulgam recorded 55.44 per cent, Home Shalibugh recorded 36.50 per cent, Devsar recorded 60.03 per cent turnout on Tuesday. 'As many as 2186 polling stations were set up, which included 143 critical ones. Web casting was done in 178 polling stations and 216 video cameras were deployed,' said Umang Narula, Chief Electoral Officer. The huge turnout was recorded despite the fact that the army neutralised an infiltration bid and killed three militants in the Tut Mari Gali sector of north Kashmir. People came out to vote despite the assassination and bids on the lives of several sarpanches in south Kashmir. Unable to digest the fact that Kashmir embraced the democratic process, Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani raked up the UN resolution issue to nullify the impact of the vote. 'For the past 67 years, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been pursuing a genuine demand based on justice. It should be resolved as per the resolutions of the UN,' said Geelani. The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) said the vigorous turnout could never change the course of the Kashmiri freedom struggle and the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir. 'If India feels that people of Jammu and Kashmir are against the freedom movement, let it hold a referendum and let the people decide about their future,' said Mushtaq Ajmal, JKLF vice-chairman. Main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) said the polling in the first two phases in Jammu and Kashmir has established that the people of the state- especially those in the Kashmir valley- have seen through the game of dividing their votes so as to foist a government upon them through intrigue. 'The fact that the overwhelming majority of the people came out to vote is an indication that their mission to bring about a change is taking shape on the ground,' said Mehbooba Mufti, PDP president.