Srinagar, Apr 30 (ANI): Separatists led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the Chairman of the hardline faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), have called upon people to boycott elections in Kashmir on Thursday.
The separatists have called for a 50-hour shutdown in the valley, against the polls.
The schools, offices, shops and other establishments wore a deserted look in Srinagar. Gun toting policemen patrolled the streets as they kept a strict vigil in the region.
The residents complained against the shutdown call.
"The Hurriyat Conference has given a call for shutdown to oppose the election being held today. Since yesterday, there is a curfew like situation in the city. Infact it feels as if it is curfew. We cannot go to work, all schools, shops and business establishments are shut. There is no transport on streets," said Farooq Ahmad, a resident..
This is not the first time the separatists have given a call for poll boycott in Kashmir.
The separatists had to suffer a major setback after residents defied the 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 the 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 in the elections. (ANI)