70 percent turnout? So what, asks pro-freedom camp

70 percent turnout? So what, asks pro-freedom camp

Srinagar: Pro-freedom leaders Tuesday dismissed the high voter turnout in the first phase of assembly elections as “meaningless” and “manipulated,” saying polls held under the “shadow of gun” cannot alter the “disputed status” of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I’m not surprised to learn about the poling percentage in the sham elections. This happens in a police state, where elections are carried out in a manner of a military operation. What’s the credibility of the elections held under the barrel of gun?” asked Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Geelani, who is under continuous house arrest, said that the state had “pushed all its men and machinery into action to conduct the so-called elections.”
“If India is a democracy, then we should have been allowed to run a boycott campaign. Why didn’t they allow us to do so? Instead, thousands of people, including pro-freedom leaders were detained and put behind bars. Men from my native village have been arrested and lodged at Mattan. It was a one- sided military campaign,” he said.
Lashing out at New Delhi, the octogenarian leader said that its “agents lured people with money to contest the elections.”
“As a result, in every constituency a dozen candidates popped up overnight. Greed and lust of power made them forget everything else,” he said.
The Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat Conference said the “meaningless exercise” of polls would have no bearing on the “internationally-recognised” disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“ Staging the drama of elections under massive military cover and false promises of development to people cannot change the historic reality of Jammu and Kashmir being an internationally-recognised dispute which has to be ultimately resolved as per UN resolutions of through a meaningful dialogue process between India, Pakistan and Kashmiris,” the amalgam said in a statement.
Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chairperson Asiya Andrabi said that she was not surprised to hear about long queues of voters outside the polling booths. She said whether people vote or not, a government will be installed in the state.
“Even in 2008, we witnessed such scenes. However, that doesn’t mean people are against the movement. We have to understand that people are reeling under fear psychosis created by the huge presence of forces,” she said.
She said compared to the relief given to the flood victims, a huge amount was spend by pro-India parties to trap the needy people.
“I challenge New Delhi to allow me to express my viewpoint to the oppressed and suppressed people of Kashmir. I guarantee 90 percent of people will boycott these so-called elections,” she said.
Acting chairman, Muslim League, Mohammad Yousuf Mir, told Kashmir Reader that the participation of people in the elections was “largely because of the misleading campaign of the regional parties.”
Senior leader of Hurriyat Conference (JK) Farooq Ahmad Dar said those taking part in elections were ‘shameless’.
“Those taking part in elections are shameless and their claims are hollow as their politics is based on fraud and deception. Participating in such fraud elections is treason with the sacred blood of martyrs.”
“We believe that despite the so-called election drama in the presence of forces, our freedom struggle will not only succeed but India’s double standard politics will also get exposed to the whole world.”
Questioning the holding of elections while pro-freedom people were detained, Dar said, “These elections are conducted under the shadow of gun and putting the real representatives of people behind bars”
Challenging pro India leaders to fight the resistance leaders on political grounds by releasing them, he said, “Then they will come to know who really represents the people of Kashmir.”
The Yasin Malik-led JKLF dismissed elections in Kashmir as ‘manipulated and fixed’.
“Elections in Jammu Kashmir are a mere eye wash, a fixed match having no credibility at all. These manipulated elections cannot deter people from pursuing the path of freedom,” JKLF vice chairman Mushtaq Ahmad Ajmal said in a statement.
He said, “Since 1950s Kashmiris have been witnessing this drama every now and then but it has and will never change the course of our struggle for freedom. The results of a fixed match have no value or credibility and even Indian leaders like LK Advani have admitted the fact that elections in Kashmir are always manipulated.”
Ajmal said that while pro India parties went for elections pro freedom organisations started relief and rehabilitation process for the flood-affected people. He thanked those who donated generously.
JKLF condemned the police crackdown carried against its activists. Front also paid tributes to the founder of daily Aftab, Khawaja Sanaullah Bhat on his death anniversary.