In occupied Kashmir, people in Central Kashmir rejected the second phase of the election drama enacted by India on Thursday as 90 polling booths saw no voting in the polling held for the Srinagar constituency of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament.
The Srinagar constituency recorded zero turnout in as many as 50 polling booths. The majority of these booths were located in Eidgah, Khanyar, Habba Kadal and Batamaloo areas of Srinagar. Many booths recorded a single digit voting percentage with Eidgah at 3.3 per cent by the end of the polling.
In Ganderbal district, which is part of the Srinagar constituency, as many as 27 polling booths recorded no votes at the end of the polling.
The residents of Nuner village of Ganderbal district stayed away from polling booths after pledging to boycott voting at the funeral of a local youth, who was killed by Indian troops during a cordon and search operation earlier this month.
The youth, Raheel Rashid Sheikh, was killed by the troops in Imamsahib area of Shopian district on April 06. He was pursuing M-Tech from a college in Chandigarh.
The poll staff, tired of waiting for someone to turn up, in Nuner was seen basking in the sun for most of the time. “No one turned up to vote at any of the polling booths here. We have been waiting for the voters, but no one came here,” an official at the polling station said. He said not even a single polling agent reported at the polling station. “We did not even see any polling agent here. They were also not present in the mock polling that was conducted,” the official said.
Outside the polling station, a few youth said that the whole area had sworn to boycott the polls in view of Sheikh’s killing.
The boycott call by Sheikh’s native area also had an impact on nearby villages in Ganderbal as people largely stayed away from the exercise. “I have not seen such less number of votes cast in these polling stations,” Hamidullah, a resident of nearby Serch village, said.