Zero voting at 131 polling stations in Shopian

Zero voting at 131 polling stations in Shopian

Shopian: A measure of the massive election boycott in Shopian on Monday was that not a single vote was cast in 131 of the 245 polling stations established in the district. Many polling stations with a good number of registered voters saw no one turn up, including Vehil that had more than 4,000 registered voters, Harmain with more than 3,000, and Arhama with more than 4,000 voters.
Chitragam saw the highest polling in Wachi assembly segment. At the polling station designated Chitragam B, 282 votes were cast. In Shopian assembly segment, Manloo A polling station received 530 votes.
The highest voter turnout was in Chitragam, Manloo, and Karewa Shadab areas of the district. In Wachi village, despite being the hub of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), only 20 votes were cast.
In Pulwama district, Pampore assembly segment saw the highest number of votes cast, though the main town remained deserted with almost no voting there.
At Zainpora polling station in Shopian district, people were seen covering their faces with their cloak to prevent being identified. At Vuyen village, a single voter who had managed to cast his vote at the polling booth there was caught hold of by some men, who, however, later left him and allowed him to go home.
The government had deployed 300 additional companies of central armed forces, comprising 35,000 troops, to guard the elections in Shopian and Pulwama districts.
However, as many as five government structures were torched since April 29 in the two districts by unknown persons, most of the structures being designated polling stations.
Stone-pelting incidents were also reported from many parts of the two districts today. At government higher secondary school Shopian, a petrol bomb was hurled inside the polling station, though it caused no damage. Similarly at Rohmoo, a grenade was hurled at the polling station there, but it also didn’t cause any kind of damage. At Midoora Tral, an under-barrel grenade launcher was used to hurl a grenade at the polling station there. It, too, caused no damage. At Chattpora Pulwama, a petrol bomb was hurled at the polling station without causing any damage.
Clashes erupted in Brethipora area where three persons sustained pellet injuries. Clashes were also witnessed in Pinjora, Narwav, Arkhar, main town Shopian, Meminder, and DK Pora, with about half a dozen persons sustaining pellet injures.
In Pulwama district, clashes between government forces and local youths took place at Wahibug, Looswani, Gusoo, Parigam, Khazirmoh, Sambora, and Bhatnora. Reports said that 7 persons were injured in these clashes.
The polling staff in Zainpora had been airlifted from the district police lines to the polling stations in a chopper on Sunday to avoid any kind of untoward incident.
At Chitragam polling station, a 22-year-old voter told Kashmir Reader that he had cast his vote to end the bloodbath in south Kashmir. “The previous governments are responsible for the brutalities, arrests, and booking of people under Public Safety Act. Now we want a government which would end the killing cycle in Kashmir,” he said, requesting anonymity.
Similarly, another voter in Zainpora said he had voted to defend Articles 370 and 35 A. “As you know, many people want to scrap these articles. I voted for the party which I believe will defend them,” he said.
Meanwhile, army patrolling was seen in many areas like Nagbal, Hillow, Check Choland, Mantribug and several other places throughout the day.