Boycott in Bandipora amid clashes, protests

Angry Locals Lock 3 Polling Booths After Alleged Army Harassment

Bandipora, May 7: North Kashmir’s Bandipora town and adjoining villages observed boycott of polls on Wednesday amid clashes, protests and huge security cover. In main town, three polling stations were locked by angry people after Army allegedly went berserk in the area.
 Four people including three poll officials were injured during the clashes in the town. One youth Firdous Ahmed sustained critical injuries when he was hit by a tear smoke shell in Neberpor area. Poll officials Shameem Ahmed, Irfan Ahmed and Showket Ahmed were injured when the vehicle carrying them were stoned by youths in Markundal.
 Although some votes were polled in nine polling stations set up in the main town, witnesses said situation turned violent when Army personnel from a local camp allegedly went berserk and started beating people.
 The army action led to protests and angry youth raising anti-army slogans attacked polling booth in Middle School. The youth forced CRPF men and poll officials to flee from the booth. The three booths- 69 B, 70 C and 27 E- were locked by angry people after protests against the alleged army highhandedness, witnesses said.
 Protests erupted in ward 3, 2, 5, 6 and Papchan area of Bandipora followed by clashes.
 According to official sources, complete boycott was observed by the voters as none among the 1238 vo ters in two polling stations, 84 A and 83 A, turned up to cast their vote.
 Similar situation was observed in Papchan, Lankrishipoa and Leharwalpora where polling staff only waited for voters.
 As the voting time concluded, army again went berserk and allegedly beat residents after bragging into their houses in Ahtangoo.
 Three people including a woman sustained injuries during army action, locals said.

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