Residents defy boycott call to cast votes in Kashmir

May 7th, 2009 - 12:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, May 7 (ANI): Defying the boycott call given by the separatists, residents came out in large numbers to cast their votes in Kashmir on Thursday.

Defying the boycott call, a large number of men and women stood outside the polling station waiting for their turn to cast their votes.

The voters termed the poll boycott as wrong and said everybody should cast their votes.

“It is wrong to boycott the polls. They are beneficial for us. Everybody should cast their votes and elect the government,” said Irfan, a voter.

Gun toting policemen kept a hawk eye as they stood guard on the polling station. The security personnel frisked voters before allowing them to enter the polling station.

The appeal by the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference to stay away from the vote in Srinagar, is seen as an attempt to deny New Delhi any credit for holding elections in the Himalayan region.

Kashmir’s separatist leaders are struggling to win back popular support, and are hoping that a boycott of Thursday’s election may yet breathe new life.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. (ANI)

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