Sporadic anti-poll protests in Kashmir but voting on

November 23rd, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Nov 23 (IANS) Groups of anti-poll protesters resorted to stone pelting at Kruhama polling station, 30 km from Srinagar, Sunday afternoon, when voting was in progress in north Kashmir’s Ganderbal constituency. The protesters were raising anti-election and pro-independence slogans as they pelted stones at the Kruhama polling station here.

“The mob has been chased away and balloting has now resumed”, a senior police officer said here.

Sporadic anti-poll protests were also reported from Duderhama, Beehama and Barsoo polling stations, but the police and paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) troopers dispersed them, police said.

Supporters of Qazi Muhammad Afzal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Sheikh Muhammad Ashfaq of the Congress clashed with each other at Benhama polling station.

“The situation was brought under control and polling has been going on smoothly now”, police said.

Despite the poll boycott call by the separatists, 16 percent votes had been cast in Ganderbal constituency till noon. The neighbouring Kangan constituency reported 19 percent polling during the first four hours.

The authorities have imposed curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar to prevent the proposed march by the separatists to Ganderbal and Kangan constituencies.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the chairman of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, was placed under house arrest to prevent him from joining the march.

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