From 66 to 7 per cent, why the dip in polling at Srinagar is a worry
Srinagar recorded just 7 per cent polling on Sunday. This was the worst polling percentage ever recorded in Srinagar and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said that he had never seen this level of violence.
In the 2014 assembly elections, Srinagar had created a record as the polling percentage stood at 66 per cent. In 2014, Mehbooba Mufti had urged people to come out in large numbers and vote to keep the BJP from crossing Banihal. On Sunday it was a completely different picture.
It appeared as though the people had vented their anger out at Mehbooba who formed the the alliance with the BJP. In fact the scenario today is completely different to what she had spoken in 2014.
Experts say that this should serve as a wake up call for both the centre and the state government. The postponement of the Anantnag by-poll is also an indication that the state government is clearly not in control of the situation.
Security experts who monitored the clashes on Srinagar said that it was clear that the dispensation was not prepared. The protestors went on a frenzy and clearly outnumbered the security personnel. In some quarters, people even asked if the dispensation in J&K intentionally decided to play the role of a mute spectator.
While Srinagar is one case, one must also look at the larger picture. Pakistan on one hand continues to fund violence in Kashmir and on the other hand Mehbooba has not managed to break the ice and calm the protestors. The situation in the Valley has gone out of her control.
The problem if one were to analyse it began in July after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. What the state government failed to act upon was crucial intelligence that suggested that a major unrest was being planned.
Wani's death was only an excuse for the separatists to bring the Valley to a stand-still, officials point out while adding that the unrest was planned much in advance.