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NC demands repoll in several polling stations in Kashmir

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, Apr 25 (UNI) The National Conference (NC) today demanded repoll in several polling stations of Pattan constituency in north Kashmir where by-elections were held yesterday.

In a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI), the NC alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a ruling coalition partner in Jammu and Kashmir, resorted to rigging and booth capturing at some places in Pattan and Rafiabad constituencies.

An unprecedented 62 per cent voting was recorded in yesterday's bypolls to four Assembly constituencies of Bhaderwah, Pattan, Rafiabad and Sangrama in Jammu and Kashmir despite poll boycott call by several separatist groups, including both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference, A record 76 voter turnout was registered in Bhaderwah, from where Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is contesting, followed by 67 per cent in Rafiabad, 61 per cent in Pattan and 41 per cent in Sangrama.

In the letter, the NC alleged that a group of PDP activists led by state Housing and Urban Development Minister Tariq Hamid Kara, his wife and Public Health Engineering and Irrigation Minister Qazi Mohammad Afzal tried to capture polling stations at some places.

''The polling booths at Matipora Payeen, Kripalpora Payeen, Chainabal-A, Budibug, Kanterbug and Mirgund A and B in Pattan constituency were captured by PDP activists with the help of some hired goons,'' the NC said.

''In the morning after the commencement of polling, a Tata Sumo, bearing registraion number JK03-1857, with PDP goons reached the Palhalan polling station and threw a grenade at the voters assembled there,'' the party alleged.

Some voters were injured and the sumo was seized by the people present there, the letter claimed and said one of the accused was later handed over to police. Some flags of the PDP were recovered from the vehicle, it alleged.

''The grenade was hurled at the voters in order to terrorise them and force them to abstain from voting,'' the NC said.

''A notorious PDP activist, Mohammad Afzal Kachroo, resorted to firing in Duslipora village at about 1615 hrs. Four voters were injured and attempts were made to flare up sectarian violence.'' ''State Agricultural Minister Abdul Aziz Zargar and PDP leader Javed Mustafa Mir, who had a gun in his hand, along with a number of supporters were seen roaming in Rafiabad Constituency harassing the innocent voters,'' the NC said in the letter.

The party claimed that reports about bunglings committed by the PDP in the three constituencies of the Kashmir valley -- Pattan, Sangrama and Rafiabad -- were still puring in.

A detailed complaint will be submitted in due course of time, the NC said and urged the ECI to take action under law and issue orders for repolling at the polling booths.

UNI AG YSS SRS PA RK1435

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