SRINAGAR: On a day when eight people, who were shot dead during clashes that erupted against the conduct of elections, a group of paramilitary soldiers was escorted by civilians to a nearby CRPF camp in Kralpora locality of Budgam.
The Central Reserve Police Force personnel, carrying their belongings, were surrounded by scores of local protesters who were shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, and followed right up to the camp.
The locals, eye-witnesses said, made sure that the paramilitary men were given a safe passage from the government middle school, where they were posted for election duty. Several youth also formed a chain around them to ensure their safety to the Mandirpost camp in the locality.
According to a local, the incident occurred in the polling booth no 61 of Kralpora B at Dharambug locality of Budgam where, after massive protests, the polling staff and CRPF personnel guarding the booth deserted it. While the polling staff was escorted out by police, the CRPF men were led by the local youth.
The youths also set the CRPF vehicle ablaze after asking the driver to get down. The EVM machine was also thrown out of the polling booth by the protesters.
Budgam area witnessed massive clashes and protests on Sunday that resulted in the killing of 8 civilians –seven from Budgam – as polling was being held in Srinagar parliamentary constituency.