Women stage anti-poll protest in Bandipur district in J-K

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Bandipur (J-K), Nov 17 : Angry women protesters clashed with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at Bandipora in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday amidst the first phase of seven-phased Assembly polls.

Witnesses said that men, women and children assembled outside the polling booths in the town and tried to stage pro-freedom demonstrations.

The CRPF personnel resorted to baton charge and scuffled with demonstrators to disperse them. Protesters offered stiff resistance and in the police action and mob retaliation at least three persons sustained injuries.

The Coordination Committee representing separatists had asked people to observe complete shutdown and march to Bandipur on Monday as a mark of protest against elections, which it describes as a ploy by the Indian government to obscure main issue of Kashmir.

The Kashmir valley remains the focus of the vote after police killed at least 42 people this year during pro-independence protests.

Ten constituencies in four districts including two in Bandipur district went to polls on Monday. As many as, 102 candidates are in the fray in these constituencies. These include three women contestants also.

During the Assembly elections 2002, only 40 candidates were in the fray in these constituencies, which indicates greater involvement of candidates in poll process this time.

The Indian government is hoping for a decent turnout to bolster the legitimacy of democracy and its rule in Kashmir.

ANI

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