Kashmir shuts down on poll day to thwart separatists’ protest

May 7th, 2009 - 11:55 am ICT by ANI  

Bharatiya Janata Party Srinagar, May 7 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir’s main city Srinagar has been shutdown to thwart planned protests by separatists against the fourth phase of general elections.

Troops patrolled deserted streets in Srinagar, cutting off residential areas after separatists called for a two-day strike from Wednesday. Shops and businesses also remained closed.

This is not the first time that separatists have given a call for poll boycott in the Kashmir Valley.

The separatists have had to suffer a major setback after residents defied a boycott call given by the Hurriyat during the State Assembly polls held in November 2008 and came out in large numbers to cast their votes.

A prominent Kashmiri separatist leader, Sajjad Lone, who had given a call for poll boycott during the state elections, has decided to contest during these general elections and raise the voices of Kashmiris in Parliament.

Besides the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are also contesting the elections. (ANI)

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