Tag Archives: NATIONAL CONFERENCE

3 reasons for the Radicalization of Kashmir(1947-90)..

3 reasons about the Radicalization of Kashmir(1947-90)..

In 1990,Tej Krishan Razdan, came back from Punjab to his native village in Budgam District, as he had heard in the TV, and read in the Newspapers about the deteriorating situation in the Kashmir valley. The Target-Killing of Kashmiri Pandits had started. He wanted to make sure that his family is safe and was thinking of shifting his family to a safer place. Little did he knew , What was in store for Him.

On 12th Feb. 1990,in Budgam, He was accosted by one of his Muslim friends. He persuaded Tej Krishan, to accompany him to Srinagar and both boarded the Matador from Budgam to Srinagar. When the Matador reached Gaw-Kadal, Suddenly, his Friend, pulled out a Revolver and Shot him several Times in the chest. He was dragged to the Local Masjid and his Dead Body was put on display there. It was only in the evening, with Police intervention, his body could be secured.

He was killed mercilessly. So were hundreds of KP’s. Before Killing a KP , the militant in many cases would subject the Body to dismemberment, and incidents , like gouging out of eyes, Multiple Fractures, Skinning of KP Victims took place. The inhuman way of Killing was a part of their Planned Strategy, That was carried out by the Militants backed by Pakistan. The message was clear to the KP’s that, “Don’t you dare to stay here “.

Apart from the target individual killings of the Pandits; to keep away KP’s from coming back into the valley, the Pakistani Backed Militants also carried out Massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits from Time to Time. On 21 Mar. 1997, in Sangrampra, 7 KP’s were led away in the dark and shot dead. On 25 jan. 1998, in Wandhama, 23 KP’s were massacred and the local Temple damaged. On 23 March 2003, at Nadimarg, 24 KP’s were massacred.

Not only that, to dissuade the KP’s and instill a fear psychosis, the Militants confronted KP’s in Jammu region too.3 KP’s were Killed in Garhat Gool village, Ramban by the Militants impersonated as Army men. They identified and separated 5 KP’s amongst the passengers that were travelling in the Bus. There were Muslims as well as Hindu Dogras too travelling in the same Bus, but they were not touched by the Militants. The 5 KP-men were ordered to alight from the Bus. Sensing danger, 2 KP’s escaped from the clutches of their captors as one jumped down into the ravine and the other one ran up towards the Hill. The rest of the3 KP’s were Shot Dead. There was a 6th KP in the Bus, who escaped Death , as he did not revealed his real identity. Instead, he had introduced himself as a Muslim and was thus saved.

The message was again Loud and Clear to KP’s-“Don’t you dare to return, back to the valley”.

All these actions were not abrupt. In fact, if we look from 1947 onwards, the complete-Radicalization of the valley took many years and was carried out in at least 3 stages, before its culmination in 1990.

Plebscite Front(1955)
Sheikh Abdullah’s Bonhomie with Jawahar Lal Nehru was well Known. He formed “All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference” in Oct.1932.The name itself suggested that the party ,he formed,was Muslim-centric. In 1939, He changed the name of “Muslim conference” to “All Jammu & Kashmir National Conference” and affiliated it to “All India state people’s conference”. At that time Pt.Jawahar Lal Nehru was the president of that conference. It is evident that Sheikh Abdullah was persuaded by Pt Nehru in one way or other to shun the Muslim conference, make a new party that looks secular, and affiliate the party to his conference.

After Maharaja Hari Singh signed the “Treaty of accession” with India, with the support of PT.Nehru, Sheikh was elected as the 2nd Prime Minister of J&K in March 1948. He remained as the Prime Minister of J&K till 1953, when he failed to prove his majority in the House. In fact all his Cabinet pledged their support to Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed-who went on to become the third Prime minister of J&K.PT. Nehru too was instrumental in abdicating the Shiekh. By, this time, the cracks had appeared in the Friendship of Pt.Nehru and Sheikh.

Pt. Nehru was informed by the Indian intelligence agencies about the ploy hatched by the Pakistani Intelligence agencies, CIA and Sheikh Abdullah and their information was substantiated by the Proof and Documents. From the Proof, It became clear that Sheikh was working against the Nation. For this Sedition, He was incarcerated by Bakshi Gh. Mohd.

The Plebiscite front was formed by Mohammed Afzal Beg -a trusted aide of Sheikh Abdllah- on 9th Aug 1955.He became its titular Head and Sheikh Abdullah was made the Patron of the Front. .From 1955 till 1974, The Plebiscite front acted as the main opposition. To Garner support, the members of this group exploited the religious sentiments of the Muslim Majority of the valley. Plebiscite front issued its own version of decree; and urged the people of Kashmir not to vote for the Congress or NC. Pertinently, National Conference was merged into the congress from 1965 till 1975.
At various gatherings, they would invoke the verses from the Holy “Quran” and incite the religious sentiments amongst the people. They intertwined politics and Islam for as long as “Plebiscite front” existed. They sowed the seeds of Hatred between the Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir.

The objective of the Plebiscite front was to carry out a referendum and through the referendum come to the conclusion whether:
1.Kashmir should accede into Pakistan
2.Remain with India
3.Become Independent Nation.

But after the “Indira-Sheikh” accord in 1974, Strangely , or rather comically, the Titular Head of the Front, Mohammed Afzal Beg, proclaimed that the purpose of the Plebiscite front was to cement Kashmir into India forever. Following the agreement with the Union government, Sheikh Abdullah merged the Plebiscite Front into a renewed National Conference in 1975, which won the democratic elections and affirmed Abdullah as the new Chief Minister of J&K.

However, During their existence of almost 20 years, the seeds of communalism had sprouted in the Hearts of the Kashmiri Muslim and remained so even today.

Unsuccesful Operation Gibraltor(1965):
Ever since, J&K acceded into the Dominion of India, Pakistan had tried its best to snatch away Kashmir by any Means. They had kept a close watch on India .When in 1962, the war broke out between India and China; the vulnerability of India got exposed in front of the World. It became evident that the Militarily equipments are Out Dated and their Air-Force is below standard. At least, this is what Pakistan thought. They were confident that the weapons that India possessed at that time are no match to their’s.

The episode of 1963, when the Holy relic of Prophet Mohamed was stolen, had flared up the religious emotions of the Kashmiri Muslims, and the episode had developed an intense feeling of Islam in KM’s. Pakistan was of the view that because of this incident, KM’s will side with them, if they happen to attack India and enter into Kashmir.

In 1965, They got another shot in the arm, when in an armed confrontation with India at Rann of Kutch, they had some gain .All these factors, made them believe that they not only ready to take India Heads on, But defeat India and annex Kashmir. However, they did not wanted to indulge into a full-fledged war with India.
Under the Operation Gibraltar; Pakistan had planned to capture all the high passes of Jammu Kashmir, and send their troops in Disguise into J&K, incite the Public against India and give the whole episode the color of Local uprising against the state. Their initial Plans succeeded to some extent. But their Theory, that the locals with side with them, was far away from the reality.
Pakistan pushed 40,000 Army personal of Azad Kashmir Battalion impersonated as Locals(Pakistan claims less than 1000) into J&K, But they were identified by the locals of Kashmir as intruders and non-locals. It was the Locals-who gave information to the Indian Army about the intrusion-and the Army took the corrective actions immediately. The fiasco of “Operation Gibralter” resulted in the war of 1965 between India and Pakistan.

Operation Topac(1988):
In April 1988, the President of Pakistan Gen. Zia-Ul-Hak, called a meeting in the President’s residential office. The meeting was attended by selected corps commanders, Top ISI Officials, an Afgan Mujahid Leader, and two Kashmir Liberation Front Leaders.The main contents from Presidents address were leaked through a mole from a third world country, and became available to India’s Research and Analysis wing (RAW) agents somewhere in sept-Oct 1988.The contents were as follows:

“Gentlemen, I have spoken on this subject at length before, therefore, I will leave out the details. As you know due to our pre-occupation in Afghanistan, in the service of Islam, I have not been able to put these plans before you earlier. Let there be no mistake, however, that our aim remains quite clear and firm-the liberation of the Kashmir Valley-our Muslim Kashmiri brothers cannot be allowed to stay with India for any length of time, now. In the past we had opted for hamhanded military options and therefore, failed. So, as I have mentioned before, we will now keep our military option for the last moment as a coup de grace, if and when necessary. Our Kashmiri brethren in the valley, though with us in their hearts and minds, are simple-minded folk and do not easily take to the type of warfare to which, say, a Punjabi or an Afghan takes to naturally, against foreign domination. The Kashmiris however have a few qualities which we can exploit. First, his shrewdness and intelligence; second, his power to persevere under pressure; and the third, if I may so say, he is a master of political intrigue. If we provide him means through which he can best utilize these qualities – he will deliver the goods. Sheer brute force is in any case not needed in every type of warfare, especially so in the situation obtaining in the Kashmir Valley, as I have explained earlier.

Here we must adopt those methods of combat which the Kashmiri mind can grasp and cope with-in other words, a coordinated use of moral and physical means, other than military operations, which will destroy the will of the enemy, damage his political capacity and expose him to the world as an oppressor. This aim, Gentlemen, shall be achieved in the initial phases.

In the first phase, which may, if necessary, last a couple of years we will assist our Kashmiri brethren in getting hold of the power apparatus of the State by political subversion and intrigue. I would like to mention here that as no Government can survive in Occupied Kashmir unless it has the tacit approval of Delhi, it would be unrealistic to believe that the MUF or any such organization can seize power through democratic or other means. In view of this,’ power must “apparently” remain with those whom New Delhi favours. We must therefore ensure that certain “favoured politicians” from the ruling elite be selected who would corporate with us in subverting all effective organs of the State. In brief, our plan for Kashmir, which will be codenamed as “Op Topac” will be as follows:

PHASE-1(TOPAC)
A low-level insurgency against the regime, so that it is under siege, but does not collapse as we would not yet want central rule imposed by Delhi.
We plant our chosen men in all the key positions; they will subvert the police forces, financial institutions, the communication network and other important organizations.
We whip up anti-Indian feelings amongst ” the students and peasants, preferably on some religious issues, so that we can enlist their active support for rioting and anti-Government demonstrations.
Organize and train subversive elements’ and armed groups with capabilities, initially, to deal with paramilitary forces located in the valley.
Adopt and develop means to cut off lines of communication between Jammu & Kashmir and within Kashmir and Ladakh by stealth, without recourse to force. The road over Zojila upto Kargil and the road over Khardungla should receive our special attention.
In collaboration with Sikh extremists, create chaos and terror in Jammu to divert attention from the valley at a critical juncture and discredit the regime even in the Hindu mind.
Establish virtual control in those parts of the Kashmir Valley where the Indian Army is not located or deployed. The Southern Kashmir Valley may be one such region.

PHASE-2(TOPAC)
Exert maximum pressure on the Siachen. Kargil and Rajauri-Punch sectors to force the Indian Army to deploy reserve formations outside the main Kashmir Valley.
Attack and destroy base depots and HQ located at Srinagar, Pattan, Kupwara. Baramulla. Bandipur and Chowkiwala by covert action at a given time.
Some Afghan Mujahideen, by then settled in Azad Kashmir, will then infiltrate in selected pockets with a view to extending areas of our influence. This aspect will require detailed and ingenious planning. The fiasco of Op Gibraltar (1965) holds many lessons for us here.
Finally a Special Force under selected retired officers belonging to Azad Kashmir, with the hard core consisting of Afghans, will be ready to attack and destroy airfields, radio stations, block Banihal Tunnel and Kargil-Leh Highway.
At a certain stage of the operations Punjab and adjacent areas of Jammu & Kashmir will be put under maximum pressure internally by our offensive posture.

PHASE-3(TOPAC)
Detailed plans for the liberation of Kashmir Valley and establishment of an independent Islamic State in the third phase will follow.

We do not have much time. Maximum pressure must be exerted before the general elections in India and before Indian Army reserves which are still bogged down in Sri Lanka become available. By the Grace of God, we have managed to accumulate large stocks of modern arms and ammunition from US consignments intended for Afghan Mujahideen. This will help our Kashmiri brethren achieve their goals. Even if we create a kind of “Azad Kashmir” in some remote parts of Occupied Kashmir as a beginning, the next step may not be as difficult as it appears today. On the other hand, it should also be noted that a part of the Indian Army, particularly the Infantry, will be well trained by now for such a situation due to their experience in the North-Eastern Region and more recently in Sri Lanka. But the situation in Kashmir will be somewhat different; more like the “Infetada” of Palestinians in towns, and on the pattern of the Mujahideen in the countryside to attack hard targets. A. period of chaos in the State is essential in the circumstances.

And what of our Chinese friends? They can do no more than ensure that Indian forces deployed against them are not moved. out; but this may be required only at the last or the third stage of our operations. Of course, if we are in serious trouble, the Chinese and our other powerful friends shall come to our rescue one way or the other. They will ensure if we do not
win-at least we don’t lose.

.”Finally, I wish to caution you once more that it will be disastrous to believe that we can take on India in a straight contest. We must, therefore, be careful and maintain a low military profile so that the Indians do not find an excuse to pre-empt us, by attacking at a time and at a point of their own choosing, at least before Phase 1 and 2 of the Operation are over. We must pause and assess the course of operations after each phase, as our strategy and plans may require drastic changes in certain circumstances. I need not emphasize any further that a deliberate and objective assessment of the situation must be ensured at each stage, otherwise a stalemate will follow with no good for Pakistan.

Conclusion
The seeds sown by the “Plebiscite Front”, and watered by its communal politics, and manure by Pakistan with “Operation Topac” gradually began bearing fruits for Pakistan. 1990 Jan is a testimony to the fact, that how the whole administration collapsed , and how the Mobocracy was rampant .The Fiasco of Operation Gibraltar prompted Pakistan to think differently.Rather than attacking India directly, they started a psychological war based on Islam and pushed forward their own version of islamization, that obliterated the Rishi-Sufi culture and burgeoned the salafi-wahabi culture in Kashmir. All the above factors made Kashmir the Hot-bed of Radicalization……

Refrences;
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gibraltar
2. http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/op-topac-the-kashmir-imbroglio-i/3/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plebiscite_Front
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammu_%26_Kashmir_National_Conference
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_Wandhama_massacre
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Nadimarg_massacre
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Sangrampora_massacre
8. http://www.rediff.com/news/jun/16kash.htm

Propaganda against Re-settlement of KP’s

Since last 25 years, it has been projected by almost all political parties, whether J&k-based or National level, like INC and BJP, that they want to re-settle KP’s back in the land of their ancestors .But never ever, has any political party acted as audaciously, as did the Modi-led NDA govt .The Home Minister of India Sh. Rajnath singh had asked Omar Abdullah in the first week of Sep 2014 to identify the land for the re-settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir. But the unfortunate floods procrastinated the Plans of GOI.

Now again, just a couple of days back, The home minister of India-Mr. Rajnath singh asked the Chief Minister-Mufti mohammed syed to identify the land for the “composite re-settlement of Kashmiri Pandits”. And it looked as if the C.M nodded his head in agreement. But as expected, he U-turned on the issue of giving land for the settlement of KP’s thus showing his true colour of being a true Islamic-sikluar.

And thus started the Grand- Drama of the Pak-backed-separatists.

Yasin Malik-the leader of the JKLF faction objected to the GOI’s plan of re-settling the KP’s into the valley. He and his coterie are of this view that KP’s should be settled in their original homes with their original Muslim Neighbors. They want KP’s to live as they lived prior to 1989-90.

But, Is it possible for pundits to settle at those places,that they left out of fear in 1990!

An real life anecdote when I visited Kashmir after 24 shows totally different picture of the locality and the people that lived with us pre-1990.

I went to Rainawari, in Srinagar, Kashmir last year .I landed in Kashmir valley on 31st Aug 2014. Immediately, I opted to go to my abandoned-Home in Rainawari. The place looked so different. “Kraylar” looked so different. The lanes and sub-lanes looked Chocked because of illegal encroachment.

When, I reached Bagh jogilankar, I was surprised to find out that even the police-station, that was once situated at the entrance of the Bridge has been shifted to “Silai-center”, opposite Hari singh school.

I tried very hard to identify my old acquaintances. Though I could identify the shops, but the shopkeepers were different. I tried to look into the eyes of the shopkeepers hoping to revive something of the past. But I got blank looks from them. The strange looks made me uncomfortable and unwanted. The appalling condition of the by-lanes was beyond words. The people of the locality have illegally captured the already-narrow-bylanes.

At last, I could identify someone. It was “Magga”. He was the barber. He had trimmed my hair N times , right from the time when I was a Kid, till I grew up to an adolescent. I accosted him and introduced myself. He too looked blankly at me. He could not identify me, as he had seen me when I was a Kid. I told him about my family, my father, Grandfather, My Uncles. With each name, his eyes sparkled in joy. And then he gave me a tight Hug. A few men gathered around us. They started asking me questions about the welfare of my family, my relatives and my Hindu-neighbors. I tried to answer them to the best of my information.

I chatted with them for about 10 minutes. Then I told them that for strange reasons, all the people in Rainawari look different to me. I told them that they looked strangers to me. They listened to me patiently. An acquaintance of “Magga-Barber”, informed me that only 40 indigenous Households/ families are living in that area and rest of the families have shifted to other places in Kashmir. As, I was departing, I could hear his shout, “Even we-the leftover families sometimes feels living among aliens. KP’s did the right thing by migrating to other places.”

The same story has been repeated in many of the localities that were once dominated by the pundits. The original Muslim residents have shifted to other places. Most of the Muslims from the downtown have shifted to posh localities like Rajbagh, Barzullah, etc.

The trite rant of the separatists like Yasin Malik and Syed ali shah Geelani, on the return of Kashmiri Pandits does not hold any water. They too are aware of the fact that during last 25 years, many KM’s have shifted to the posh localities and many amongst them have bought the houses of KP’s- who had to sell their properties in distress.

If they want to re-settle KP’s into their original localities, they will have to re-settle back all the Muslims too- who were the neighbors of KP’s. But that is not possible and that will not be of any help to KP’s .As a matter of fact, The Muslim neighbors of KP’s were totally helpless in protecting their Hindu neighbors in 1990’s. Instead of protecting them, many KM neighbors corroborated with the terrorists and gave vital information about those KP’s, who were on the hit list of Terrorists, thus resulting in Death of many KP’s.

Over the years the mainstream political parties have practiced soft-secessionism. They have over the years poisoned the minds of the majority-Muslims. Separatists as well as the valley-based mainstream political parties have tacitly projected the forced-exodus of KP’s as their victory. Victory of Islam and Hegemony of Muslims. They might be saying hundreds of lies to the Government of India, but the reality is that they are constantly conveying to their vote-bank that KP’s will never be allowed to come back.

The resistance shown by Yasin Malik against the proposed “composite-resettlement” has been portrayed as “inclusive-townships” for KP’s. It has been alleged that GOI is planning to make colonies like Israel did in Palestine. The resistance towards the return of KP’s have been portrayed akin to the resistance of Palestine’s towards the Israel-settlements.

And top of that, the mainstream political parties too have shown the same resistance as did Yasin Malik and company. It is an astutely-planned-propaganda against the return of Kashmiri Pandits. All the valley based-political-parties have excluded deliberately the word “Composite” and are instead using the word “Inclusive”.

The deliberate blatant trampling of the fundamental right of KP’s will once again go unnoticed. Once again the possible return of KP’s will be thwarted. Once again the false propaganda of the Anti-Nationals will echo in the valley. Once again justice will be denied to the KP’s.

And once again,
the goddess of Justice will remain Blindfolded…

Kanea Jung(stone pelting)-The emerging sport of Kashmir…(Humour-readers take it easy!!!)

Somebody said to me that Geelani had told his followers, ”Khoon ka badla june mein lenge” which means the revenge of the blood will be taken in June. The hibernation period starts from November and lasts till the announcement of Amarnath Yatra , usually June, by then many of the front line players of the most emerging game namely “Kanea Jung” A.K.A “Stone pelting” come out from a vegetating state and play an active role in the new pastime of some youths.
Emergence and Rules
There was a long religious discussion, among the religious scholars of Islam in whole of India particularly Kashmir, about “Kanea Jung”, whether it is “Halal” (religiously legal) or “Haram” ( religiously illegal), with most of the scholars terming it as “Haram”, but that did not deter Geelani and company (sponsored by Govt. of Pakistan) and they termed it as “Halal” and thus gave a green signal to the sport of “Kanea Jung”.
“Kanea jung” for me has emerged as a new age sport of Kashmir valley,considering the involvement of a large segment of masses which includes all sects of people irrespective of their professions and educational qualifications.Stone pelting, and stone pelters had/have Conspicuously grabbed much of the attention of the Indian as well as International media, with the youths armed up to the teeth, and stones weighing from some grams to even a kilogram, ready to aim at policemen, and cry foul when retaliated back by the police personal, who attacks back in order to save their lives.
Unlike other sports where there is a binding for dress protocol, “kanea jung” has no such bindings as one can dress as per one’s will, but those dresses will be given preference which has lot of pockets and which is not very tight to the skin such as Cargos( loose with multiple pockets).sports shoes is given preference by more professional and serious players of this game, head and face cover, such as scarf, is almost a must as it helps the player to conceal one’s identity and attack ferociously on the opponents which in case of Kashmir happens to be JK Police.
This is a game which demands that the player should have strength as well as stamina, strength to throw the stones , which sometimes can weigh half to one kilogram, without missing the aim(policeman’s body particularly head ) Stamina, to run short as well as long distances (because policemen will be chasing).The positive point about this game is that there is no age limit and even female members are also welcome provided they are above 50 years of age.
This is a game of high endurance, considering the length of time which can stretch up to 10 hours a day, and a player may have to travel fairly long distances. The selection of stones is of utmost importance, and different stones are used for different purposes, small stones are used when the target is far, may be 100 meters away, medium sized stones are used when the target is at moderate distance and very large stones (as big as a boulder) are used , when a group of players of this game happen to catch a single policeman, and unanimously decide to club and bludgeon the man in khaki uniform and later on crush the bones with the boulder.
As in all the games, there are two parties to contest, so is the case with this game. A stone pelter is the protagonist of this game and the policeman is the antagonist. As far as this game is considered ,the antagonist plays rather a submissive or defensive role, with most of the time spent in saving himself from the hailstorm of stones. Occasionally ,the police team fires tear gas at stone pelters, which disperses only that team which is rather new and which probably have jumped into the fray for the very first time. The more seasoned players of this game, when confronted with the same situation ,rather very swiftly pick up the tear gas shell and throw back at their enemies, and leave them with flood of tears. However the antagonist sometimes resort to firing also, when things go more violent and that is why this sport is not meant for feeble hearted sportsmen.On the other hand, the protagonists firing disguised as antagonist at its own team is also a fact.
The rule of the game is simple, protagonists have to hit antagonists and vice-versa with stones, but to a large extent, it is the protagonist, who is attacking on most of the occasions. One more noticeable difference between the two teams in the arena is that the antagonists are equipped with shields and helmets to protect themselves from the raining stones, while the protagonist have no such armory but they make up with the numbers , as at any place of action between the two parties the ratio of protagonist to antagonist is 50:1.
Pros
1.This is a game which promotes both strength and Stamina.
2.It keeps general masses away from the real problems.
3.It promotes team spirit among the teams of both protagonists as well as antagonists.
4.It has been noted that active participants of this game have better cholesterol levels ,lower blood pressures and high bone density.
5.The high adreline rush associated with this game keeps the participants physically as well as emotionally charged, beneficial most for those who are in depression.
6.for some, It gives a purpose of life.
7.It is a good therapy to vent out oppressed emotions.
Cons
1.The cons of this game is that it is a game of labyrinth, with some of the team players of both the sides camouflaging and deceiving its own men and thus risking and playing with their future.
2.This is still an unorganized game and only few protagonists get their salaries while others shed their blood for free.
3.only few protagonist make a breakthrough and get promoted to the political arena of Kashmir.
4.the common man of Kashmir is left jobless as it is almost mandatory that such games are played with unofficial announcement of hartal/strikes, which affects most the simple man of Kashmir.
5.this game in its present form promotes unemployment and kills the working ability of the general masses.
6. The captain of the protagonist does not participate directly in this game.
7.there are no big time sponsors of this game.
8.there is a very high risk of physical disability/dismemberment or even death associated with this sport.
Role of other political parties in this sport
Other mainstream political parties, who are not in power, particularly the main opposition party,are alleged by their opponents that for their short term benefits, they are surreptitiously helping the stone pelters by giving them financial aid to keep the action alive for the whole world to watch and later attack the ruling political party for inaction and inaptness of administration. These political parties sending their stooges in the garb of protagonists cannot be ruled out.
IPL and sepratists
IPL is due next month, and like most, I too will be glued to TV for the thriller matches, after all IPL will be spending tens of millions of dollars for the event, Players like Gautum Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan got exorbitant sums like 11 crores and 10 crores respectively. Lucky guys, On the contrary this season’s “kanea jung” will be almost a repeat of last season.For the information, last years’s man of the tournament for “Kanea Jung” was “Masrat Alam” who was later found to have received large sums from across the border in order to add fuel to the fire which claimed 117 lives last year and left thousands injured.Fortunately/unfortunately he is cooling his heels in a jail and won’t be available for this season, But I am sure the captain of protagonists , Mr. Syed Ali Shah Geelani ,must have had a discussion with the selectors who happen to sit across the border, and have/has a Substitute who may be as good as Masrat Alam and who can lead his team in this seasons “Kanea Jung”.
I am not sure about the antagonist’s strategy of this season, but it can be be assumed that even they will be better prepared unlike last season, when they were suddenly awaken from the deep slumber by the thunderous noise and showers of stones.
P.S-For stone throwers
I have a businessman friend in Jammu who owns a stone crusher, he can deliver good quality stones of all shapes and sizes at your door step in the valley, Free boulder with a truckload of stones..Hurry rush your orders..limited stock.
Yours aficionado
————————

scapegoats,stone pelters, and Omar Abdullah

Another year in exile for Indigenous inhabitants of Kashmir. For the sake of statstics, This is my 21st year in Exile.There is a mixed response when Kashmir is discussed among Kashmiri Pandits.” I would like to live the rest of my life in Kashmir” says a relative of mine who is a septuagenarian. On the other hand, a teenager son of a friend of mine, who was born and raised in Delhi says, ”I will settle abroad, once I finish my studies”. I guess, this is what is known as generation Gap.

Thanks to Pakistan sponsored terrorism, which they have successfully painted with the color of “Holy Jihad”. They have made sure that for Kashmiri Pundits, there is no return route to Kashmir. Times change, so does man , and so has Kashmir. Stone pelting has become the new “in” thing. The emotionally charged, misguided miscreants and paid agents , who are backed ,groomed and guided by Pakistan are using their time and energy to find the best stones of Kashmir. The puppets of ISI viz “The hurriyat conference” have successfully staged the Drama and have held at Ransom Whole of Kashmir.

Time and again, amid these protests one thing has been made clear to one and all that, “this is a Islamic war”, whether one likes it or not. Another thing which has come up time and again from Pakistan backed separatists is that there is no room for “secularism” in Kashmir. Long time back, I used to hear that Kashmir is a land of Rishis and Sufis and the life force of Kashmir is “Kashmiriyat”. Unfortunately, “Kashmiriyat” died long ago ,with the genocide and mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. May be, It is still left with some people in Kashmir who adhere their daily life and routine to Universal spirituality and not only to religion. Personally, I don’t think that religions must have been designed to kill fellow Human beings.

With the arrest of Shabir Ahmed Wani, It has become crystal clear now that the protests and agitations, were staged by the Pakistan Backed separatists and terrorists, in order to create unrest in civil society .These idiosyncratic misanthropists earnestly yearned and prayed to Almighty for the deaths of civilians. For them somehow the pot should keep boiling, Their bread and butter is directly linked to unrest and deaths of civilians .After all this is their profession and they are handsomely paid by their Masters in Islamabad.

Stone pelting is a barbaric act and I was told that even Islam considers this to be unholy, but who cares!!! After all, isn’t Religion also a commodity to be exploited for selfish reasons? And who knows this fact better than “Kashmiri Pandits” who have seen the practical face of Islam. Islamic Scholars may argue endlessly in order to prove that Islam means “Peace”. With due regards to them,they should have taught the actual meaning to those who killed my friends and relatives. Somebody has to remind them “actions speaks louder than words”.

Sufism, which I believe, is an integral part of Islam, has in the recent times lost its sheen and is held hostage by the more stringent Wahabis. Sufism cannot help and motivate anyone to take up gun and kill fellow human beings ,as Sufism has a different way of looking to nature and life.One of the beliefs of the sufi’s is that Allah has made man almost perfect, and other living and non living beings try to emulate Humans, so that they can also become or transform into Humans. I have read a particular sufi arguing that a rock or stone at the river bed of a River or Stream earnestly years to become Human, he also insists to look more closely to a pebble in a stream, and just look at how even a pebble struggles hard to get into the shape and try to resemble that of a Human Face. However, This school of thought will never appeal to stone pelters of Kashmir, who according to sources are paid Rs 50 to Rs 150 per day for engaging the JK Police and CRPF. Isn’t it Irony that stone wants to become Human being, and in Kashmir, some humans have become as cold as a stone….

Separatists who have distorted their religion for the sake of their Selfish cause can twist anything at anytime according to time and Situation. Some of these so called Pseudo-Scholars have targeted the Chief Minister of J&K for a reason which is purely natural.I am talking about ageing. We all know ageing is a natural process, but not with ISI backed separatists. They are arguing that the Chief Minister’s hair has suddenly turned grey because of his unholy acts. Had It been pre-1990’s, When there was euphoria about National conference and when the masses idolized Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah , the similar situation would have been interpreted differently. They would have argued differently and may be compared Chief Minister Omar Abdullah with The great “Moses”, who had also turned grey within a short span of some 40 days when ten commandments were revealed to him at Mount sinai. They would have further sealed this argument as ultimate truth, by comparing the respective ages of Moses and Omar Abdullah. At the age of 40 , Moses was revealed ten commandments, and the present age of Omar Abdullah is also 40 Years…

Approximately 200 million muslims live in my country out of which 5 million muslims live in Kashmir. The only difference between 200 million and 5 million is that the former constitutes minority of India(except J&k)and the latter constitutes majority of J&k. The minorities of India viz Muslims and Christians are mostly at peace with India ,except at some occasions when political parties try to divide the masses of India either on the basis of caste, creed or Religion. But never in the History of India, the situation of any ethnic group has been so deplorable as that of Kashmiri Pandits. In other parts of India, after political turmoil or riots, Occasionally minorities or weaker sections/groups move out of their native places and come back again to their Homes , once Riots subside.However in case of K.P’s, things are different as Kashmir Pandits do not form any vote bank and hence politically unwanted and can only be used as Scapegoats. It is easy for the politicians to blame Kashmiri Hindus for anything and everything. Government is not able to generate enough jobs or livelihood, because either they are inefficient or corrupt, but they are answerable to public,particularly their vote bank.To cover their shortcomings, somebody has to be made a scapegoat,In case of J&k, It his your’s truly” kashmiri pandit”.For the sake of votes, politicians furnish arbitrary evidence and twist the statistics in such a way which somehow makes it evident that Kashmiri pandit is a real culprit.Can’t blame them as there are serious loopholes in Indian vote bank politics and Indian way of Democracy. Kashmiri Hindu is also a culprit because he is well educated, he is non-violent, he is law-abiding, he is hard working, he is still a survivor and above all his heart beats for India. You must have heard of “Kumbah ka Mela” and “ Lord Rama”. Kumbh Mela comes after 12 years, and the Vanvas(exile) of Lord Rama who had to move out of Ayodhya lasted for 14 years. But Hello!!! we are not talking about mythology,we are talking about K.P’s-the hindu minorities of J&K,who don’t have a legal and constitutional voice.Excuse me for reminding you once again that I am a Kashmiri Pandit, uprooted from Kashmir,at the brink of cultural extinction,Victim of politics,still in exile,longing to go back to Kashmir and this is my 21st year in Exile…..

K. Ps. Feel Let Down

By Prof. Gopi Kishen Muju…

Kashmiri Pandits had placed very high hopes upon the present National Conference led coalition Government in giving the community at least some representation in the State Cabinet, but unfortunately the community feels let down and disappointed on this account. One can remember many occasions like the one of Shiv Ratri Milan organized by Shri Vijay Bakaya at Sidhra (a simple function turned into a full fledged political meeting) wherein Dr. Farooq Abdullh warned K.Ps. not to let down or disown Mr. Bakaya by saying that “he is not our leader” as the community had done in case of some K.P leaders in the past. Dr, Abdullah claimed that he had now “given a leader to the community” and the community must give him due recognition.. He made [u1] a similar announcement over a function in the Abhinav Threatre, Jammu and even on some other occasions. What has happened to those commitments ? The community had been waiting for the day when Mr. Bakaya would be included in the expanded ministry. But alas! Hopes have been belied. Even if Mr. Bakaya is included now the move will have lost most of its grace, taste and shine. Very sad indeed ! The K.P .Community in general an Mr. Vijay Bakaya in particular have been let down. But Why.? If he was not to be included why to project his name. Obviously Bakaya had not asked for it ; he was offered or at least assured and promised. Does it indicate that the Party Presidenthas lost control over the party in government formation ?

The day Mr Bakaya joined N.C. a good section of K. Ps had placed hopes in him as their representative in the party and the government, though there were other K.P. members and workers in the party who too would like to be in the forefront regarding K.P.s problems. Also many other intellectuals, academicians and public spirited people had decided to join the party and give it due support taking it to be the only regional party with secular ideology Some were even in contact with the party leaders over the issue, though there was no positive response to their initiative from the party; but now after seeing what place a K.P. has in the present set up in the party and the government they are in a fix about their next move, and are forced to think afresh..

There was a time when the community had given stalwart M.P.s to the nation, Central Ministers at the Central Government level and Ministers in the State government ,diplomats and ambassadors, but now the community feels completely ignored and neglected. This should not have happened at least in the time of Dr. Farooq Abdullah. But what has happened has happened. Though it is said all is well that ends well and anything is expected in politics, but for a K.P.Community a place in the State Cabinet, a couple of seats in the legislature or suitable places in the Boards and Commissions can be claimed by it as a matter of right being a miniscule minority, a victim of militancy and original inhabitants of the land. Such positions cannot be given as of gratis or as a matter of grace but are to be claimed as a matter of right. But if this right is not delivered in time or in a right manner or is denied nothing can prove more disturbing, damaging, irrational , illogical and violation of fundamental rights. The community obviously has been made to face all the denials possible.

It is a fact that a K.P cannot get elected to any seat on his own; but all the same the community cannotbe made to live upon the mercy of others or to beg for its rights. So the community has to be provided some Constitutional Guarantees. A list of some of these Constitutional Guarantees for the Kashmiri Pandits ,Hindus and other regional minorities have been communicated to the State Government and the Central Government and the National Commission for Minorities as back as in December 1998 in a memorandum by the Kashmiri Hindu Minority Conference (Now renamed as Jammu and Kashmir Regional Minorities Conference).These demands have been duly recommended to the State and Central Governments by the National Commission for Minorities in January 1999. Unfortunately no action has been taken in the matter. Had the Government taken action upon the matter perhaps the community would not have to face the humiliating situation which it has been made to face today. It is still open for the government to take cognizance of these demands and act.

Some skeptics have raised a question as to what could a K. P.in the Ministry do for the community. Of course very little because he had to follow the policy of the government and the party. And very unfortunately both the Government ( Central as well as the State) and the political parties in the State have no place or policy for the K.Ps except to use and exploit them for their own ends. The community has been exploited at each and every level But it would have a psychological satisfaction, a commitment to secular constitution and real Kashniriat if a K.P. too would have been included in the State Ministry. He could at least present the issues of the community in the Cabinet, perhaps in a better and right way.

One wonders how Mr. Bakaya. has taken this humiliation and belying of hopes. His name has been dragged into a sort of unwarranted controversy One feels shy in talking over the issue to him. Ch. Mohd Aslam felt disgruntled over his non-inclusion and went to the Congress High Command with his complaint. To whom will Bakaya complin ? and why? . He must not feel disappointed or disgruntled Rather he had never asked for a Cabinet berth ; he only expected one which was assured to him It is the community which feels sad and betrayed.

In light of this let down a humble suggestion would be that Bakaya must immediately resign from the Legislative Council to which too he got elected very sensitively in a keen contest, and to quote Dr. Abdullah “what would have been the scene at Shivratri Milan if, God forbid, Bakaya would have “pyomut” lost the (Council) election”. This suggestion would not be made to him, had his name not been mentioned by Dr. Farrooq Abdullah himself and had he not been declared and projected as a would be representative of the Community in the Government. Even if the promise is fulfilled now it has lost the grace and taste. Let Mr. Bakaya rise to the occasion and demonstrate his caliber. Individuality, self respect and strength of the character of a real Kashmiri Pandit and , as a protest, resign from the Legislative Council.(GKM)

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Jammu and Kashmir election results

JAMMU, Dec 28: As expected, the 11th Assembly of the State threw a fractured mandate with no party being able to garner even a simple majority in the House of 87 which saw National Conference emerging as a single largest party winning 28 seats followed by PDP which captured 21.

The Congress suffered major reverses especially in Jammu region where its all Cabinet Ministers and even a sitting Lok Sabha member lost the election reducing the party’s tally of 31 at the time of dissolution of House to just 17. The BJP gained at the expense of Congress jumping from just one seat in the 10th Assembly to a tally of 11, the majority of which (10) came from just two districts of Jammu (7) and Kathua (3).

The National Panthers Party (NPP) lost one seat and came down to a tally of three from four seats it held in the last Assembly. Former Minister Harshdev Singh, who had revolutionised education sector during first three years of coalition Government as an Education Minister, made a hat-trick in Ramnagar winning the seat by a huge margin of 12042 votes. However, NPP supremo, Prof Bhim Singh forfeited his security deposit in Jammu East.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which had contested second highest number of 83 seats behind 85 of NC, failed to open its account. The BSP had won four seats in 1996 and one in 2002. However, BSP’s lone MLA from Vijaypur, Manjit Singh had later defected to PDP. Other major national and regional parties, which couldn’t open their account, were Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Jammu State Morcha (Progressive), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bharatiya Bahujan Party (BBP).

Out of all 87 results declared by this evening, NC won 28 seats including 20 in Kashmir, 6 in Jammu and 2 in Kargil while PDP emerged second major group in the Assembly capturing 21 seats—19 in Kashmir and 2 in Jammu region. The PDP opened its account in Jammu winning Mendhar and Darhal seats as last time it had drawn blank.

The Congress won 17 seats, 14 less than the tally of 31 it held in the dissolved House. Out of 17 seats of Congress, 13 came from Jammu region, three from Kashmir and one from Leh. Congress had won 20 seats in 2002 but it wrested Poonch seat from NC in by election. Eleven Independent Candidates had joined Congress and 9 of them had been fielded again by the party.

The BJP, which was major beneficiary in the Assembly election reached two digit mark for the first time since its inception in 1982 as it won 11 seats but its tally was mainly confined to just three districts—7 in Jammu, 3 in Kathua and 1 in Reasi. The BJP had recorded its previous best tally of 8 in 1996. It had drawn blank in 1983, won only two seats in 1987 and one in 2002.

Mohd Yusuf Tarigami (CPM), Ghulam Hassan Mir (JKDP-N) and Hakim Mohd Yasin (PDF) opened account for their parties in Kashmir.

Four Independent candidates emerged victorious—two in Jammu and one each in Kashmir and Leh. They include fire brand Jammu leader, Ashwani Sharma, who recorded a thumping victory in Bishnah for second consecutive time and bureaucrat turned politician Charanjit Singh Jasrotia, who left behind former Minister Babu Singh and sitting Congress MP Lal Singh, to win Kathua seat. Abdul Rashid Sheikh (Langet in Kashmir) and Tsetan Namgayal (LUTF, Nobra) were other two Independent winners.

Leader of Opposition in 10th Assembly and prominent NC leader Abdul Rahim Rather created a history of sorts by becoming only first political leader in the State to record sixth consecutive victory from Charar-e-Sharief segment in Budgam district. He had won all Assembly polls from Charar-e-Sharief since 1977. Earlier, former Congress leader, Girdhari Lal Dogra held the record of five straight victories from Hiranagar from 1957 to 1977.

Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad recorded highest victory margin of 29,436 in Bhaderwah segment, which he had won with 58,000 polls in 2006 by-election after taking over as Chief Minister of the State on November 2, 2005. In Kashmir, NC leader and former Deputy Speaker Mohd Akbar Lone recorded highest victory margin of 12,000 in Sonawari.

Three women made entry into the Assembly, all from Kashmir region. They include PDP president Mehbooba Mufti (Wachi), Sakina Itoo (Noorabad) and Shamima Firdous (Habbakadal), both NC.

The BJP and Congress had fielded two women candidates each in Jammu region and all four lost. They were Suman Bhagat, former Minister (RS Pura) and Kanta Andotra (Basohli), both Congress, who were members of previous Assembly and Satwant Kour Dogra (Samba) and Shilpi Verma (Bishnah), both BJP. The NC had not fielded any woman candidate in Jammu.

As the BJP virtually swept Jammu and Kathua districts in Jammu region winning 10 out of 16 seats at the stake, benefiting mainly due to 62 days long Amarnath land agitation, several bigwigs of Congress including all Cabinet Ministers from Jammu region and a sitting MP were sent biting the dust.

Former Deputy Chief Minister and Congress veteran Mangat Ram Sharma, a five time MLA, several time Minister, Speaker and MP was relegated to third place in Jammu West. Another Cabinet Minister in Congress led coalition Government, Gulchain Singh Charak finished third in Bishnah while Jugal Kishore (Reasi), Mula Ram (Raipur Domana), Suman Bhagat (RS Pura) and Lal Singh (Kathua) were all defeated with huge margins. Lal Singh, who is presently a Lok Sabha member from Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat and was a Cabinet Minister in PDP led coalition Government, was pushed to fifth place in Kathua. Lal Singh’s wife, Kanta Andotra was defeated by the BJP in Basohli, a seat held Lal Singh for two terms and Kanta for the third term.

Ministers of State from Congress in previous coalition including Gharu Ram (Suchetgarh), Dr Romesh Sharma (Nowshera), Prem Sagar Aziz (Bani) and Puran Singh (Darhal) lost the election. Another MoS Babu Singh (Congress rebel) lost in Kathua.

Despite the BJP surge, Speaker Tara Chand (Chhamb), Raman Bhalla (Gandhi Nagar), Sham Sharma (Akhnoor) and Dr Manohar Lal Sharma (Billawar) kept the Congress flag high in Jammu and Kathua districts winning their seats.

BJP suffered a major setback when its former State president Dr Nirmal Singh was defeated in Gandhi Nagar by Mr Bhalla with 2263 votes though the party managed to win two other City seats where its incumbent president Ashok Khajuria (City East) and former Union Minister Prof Chaman Lal Gupta (City West) won with comfortable margins. Another prominent BJP leader Pawan Gupta lost Udhampur seat to NPP candidate Balwant Singh Mankotia.

The NC made a clean sweep of all eight seats in Srinagar district.

Prominent NC leaders, who lost the election in Jammu region, were Ajatshatru Singh (Nagrota), who went down to BJP’s Jugal Kishore for second consecutive term, Ajay Sadhotra, provincial president (Marh), who too lost to BJP and Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardhy (Doda), who was defeated by Abdul Mujeed Wani (Congress) for second time.

Surjeet Singh Slathia (Vijaypur) and Radhey Shyam Sharma (Nowshera) staged a comeback for the NC having won the election in 1996 and lost in 2002. While Mr Slathia defeated BJP’s strong contender Chander Prakash Ganga, Mr Sharma overcame the challenge from Congress nominee Dr Romesh Sharma to win the seat.

Doda belt comprising six districts including Azad’s Bhaderwah sided with the Congress giving the party five seats leaving only one for the NC. The BJP drew a blank. The Congress candidates who won in Doda belt were Azad (Bhaderwah), Abdul Mujeed Wani (Doda), Ghulam Mohd Saroori (Inderwal), Ashok Kumar (Ramban) and Waqar Rasool (Banihal). NC could manage to win only Kishtwar seat with party leader Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo keeping the party flag high retaining the seat for second consecutive term.

Out of 11 seats in Jammu district, seven went to BJP, three to Congress and one to an Independent while NC drew a blank. NC had won four seats in Jammu district in 1996. Out of two seats in Samba district, one each was won by NC and NPP. Of five seats in Kathua district, BJP captured three while one each was grabbed by Congress and an Independent.

Udhampur district again sided with the NPP which won two out of three seat while one segment went to Congress. Out of three seats in Reasi district, one each went went to BJP, Congress and NC. Similarly, out of three seats in Poonch district, one each went to NC, PDP and Congress while out of four seats in Rajouri district, two went to NC and one each to PDP and Congress.

Prominent losers in Kashmir include People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts Qazi Mohammad Afzal (Ganderbal), Tariq Hamid Qarra (Batmaloo), Abdul Aziz Zargar (Noorabad) and Dillawar Mir (Rafiabad). All the four PDP leaders lost to their National Conference rivals.

In Jammu East, BJP’s Ashok Khajuria polled 15,857 votes and defeated Congress nominee Narender Singh Raju by 10,404 votes. Raju got 5453 votes while Independent Sanjay Mahay, a Corporator in JMC, got 3473 votes. A total of 31,262 votes had been polled in City East. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

In Jammu City West, out of a total of 85,013 votes polled, BJP leader Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, a former Union Minister and three time MP secured 34,288 votes followed by Independent candidate Surinder Singh Shingari who got 21,251 votes. Congress veteran Mangat Ram Sharma got only 13,853 votes and finished third. Gupta won by a margin of 13037 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

Gandhi Nagar was only constituency in Jammu City which went to the Congress. Out of 90,161 votes polled, Congress stalwart Raman Bhalla got 33,486 votes while former State BJP chief Dr Nirmal Singh took 31,223 votes. NC candidate Tarlochan Singh Wazir, MLC took 18,935 votes. Bhalla retained the seat by a margin of 2263 votes.

BJP leader Jugal Kishore recorded second straight victory in Nagrota over Ajatshatru Singh, the scion of erstwhile rulers of the State. Out of a total of 47,948 votes polled, Kishore secured 11,141 votes and won the seat by 1620 votes. Ajatshatru got 9521 votes while PDF’s Sobat Ali took 7817 votes.

Prominent Jammu leader Ashwani Sharma again emerged champion in Bishnah seat for a second term despite the fact that several candidates were pitted against him from Bishnah town to defeat him. Sharma, however, overcame all challenged and polled 14006 out of a total of 60,515 votes. His nearest rival Kamal Arora got 13,560 votes while Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister Gulchain Singh Charak finished third taking just 8155 votes.

RS Pura (Reserve) seat was also won by BJP’s newcomer, Dr Garu Bhagat, a Professor in SKUAST Jammu, who polled 15,902 votes out of a total of 52,326 votes. His nearest rival and former Congress Minister Suman Bhagat got 14,272 cotes while NC leader Romesh Motton secured 11,929 votes. Dr Garu wrested the seat from Congress by 1630 votes.

Sham Choudhary (BJP) recorded an impressive victory margin of 7592. Out of 45,476 votes polled, Choudhary got 17,995 while NC leader Taranjit Singh Tony managed 10,403. Congress candidates and former Minister Choudhary Garu Ram was relegated to third spot polling only 6545 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

BJP’s Choudhary Sukhnandan won from Marh by a margin of 6581 votes. While Sukhnandan polled 18,368 votes, NC leader and former Minister Ajay Sadhotra got 11,787 votes. Independent and Congress rebel Balwant Singh took 9207 votes. BJP wrested the seat from NC.

Newcomer in BJP Bharat Bushan defeated Congress stalwart and former Minister Mula Ram by 12,312 votes. Bushan polled 28,685 votes while Mula Ram got 16,373 votes. NC’s Sat Pal Lakhotra finished third with 6333 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

Speaker Tara Chand won Chhamb seat for third consecutive term polling 25,335 votes out of a total of 51,789 votes polls. His immediate BJP rival Chaman Lal Kanaithia for 22,940 votes. Tara Chand retained the seat by 2395 votes.

Sham Sharma (Congress) polled 31,600 votes and won the seat by 13,884 votes. His BJP rival Govind Ram Sharma took 17716 votes while BSP’s Vijay Kumar had 6668 votes. Congress retained the seat.

In Samba district, Samba seat was retained by NPP’s Yashpal Kundal, a former Minister by 1989 votes. Kundal polled 14,631 votes while BJP’s Satwant Kour Dogra got 12,642 votes. Subash Bhagat (Congress) took 10,714 votes, Som Nath (BSP) took 6647 votes and NC’s Som Nath Manyal got 6361 votes. A total of 53,900 votes were polled in Samba.

In Vijaypur segment, NC’s Surjit Singh Slathia won the seat by 1212 votes defeating BJP’s popular leader Chander Prakash Ganga. Slathia had won the seat in 1996 but lost to BSP’s Manjit Singh in 2002. Manjit had later joined PDP. Votes polled by prominent candidates in Vijaypur include Slathia (21,090), Ganga (19,878), Manjit Singh, PDP (12,445), Rajesh Pargotra, NPP (11,054), Hari Singh, Congress (1376), Jarnail Singh, BSP (1066) and Sat Pal, BBP (6091).

In Kathua, Independent Charanjit Singh Jasrotia bagged 19,123 votes and won the seat by 2362 votes. Votes polled by other noted candidates in Kathua include Som Raj Majotra (BSP, 16761), Babu Singh (Independent, 10,887), Prof Sain Dass (BJP, 7913) and Lal Singh (Congress, 6053). A total of 74070 votes were polled in Kathua.

Out of 64680 votes polled in Hiranagar, BJP’s Durga Dass got 19,633 votes followed by BJP revel and Independent Prem Lal, who got 16,881 votes. Congress candidate Girdhari Lal Chalotra finished third with 14,011 votes.

Congress candidate Dr Manohar Lal Sharma retained Billawar seat by 8329 votes. He polled 22,137 votes followed by Satish Sharma, BJP (13808), Romy Khajuria, NC (9363), Balbir Singh, Independent and Congress rebel (6352) and Pankaj Dogra, Independent and Congress rebel (3800). A total of 64,680 votes were polled in Billawar.

Out of 23,903 votes polled in Bani, BJP’s Lal Chand took 10,936 while NC’s Ghulam Haider Malik got 8663. Congress candidate and former Minister Prem Sagar Aziz was pushed to third spot with 4462 votes. Lal Chand won by 2273 votes.

BJP’s Jagdish Sapolia finally emerged victorious from Basohli after having lost three elections consecutively. He got 16,651 votes out of a total of 47,235 votes polled. NC’s Devinder Singh Bindhu secured 13,770 votes while Lal Singh’s wife, Kanta Andotra finished third with 13,381 votes.

In Reasi district, BJP’s Baldev Raj Sharma emerged victorious after losing twice in 1996 and 2002. He defeated Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister in Azad Government, Jugal Kishore by 6665 votes. Baldev polled 26,031 votes while Kishore got 19,369 votes. NC candidate and former Minister Jagjivan Lal took 15,653 votes. BJP wrested the seat from Congress.

Gool-Arnas seat was retained by Congress when former Minister Aijaz Khan defeated NC’s Ghulam Qadar Mughal by a margin of 3452 votes. Aijaz polled 15,594 votes while Mughal got 12,142 votes. BJP’s Kabla Singh finished third with 8204 votes.

NC candidate Abdul Gani Malik won Gulabgarh seat for a third term polling 14,268 votes. His Independent rival Mumtaz Ahmed, brother of Aijaz Khan, got 11,020 votes. Malik won by 3248 votes.

In Udhampur district, NPP strongman and former Minister, Harshdev Singh scored a hat-trick in Ramnagar winning the seat by a huge margin of 12,042 votes. Harshdev secured 30,439 votes while his immediate rival Vinod Khajuria of BSP got 18,397 followed by Congress rebel RS Pathania 9254, Thakur Dass (Congress) 1489 and Rakesh Anthal (BJP) 825. A total of 64,598 votes were polled in Ramnagar.

NPP leader Balwant Singh Mankotia retained Udhampur proper defeating BJP’s Pawan Gupta by 2770 votes. Mankotia polled 25,259 votes while Pawan got 22,489 votes. Brij Mohan Sharma of Congress got 10,617 votes and BSP’s Dhanni Ram Atri polled 6571 votes. A total of 71,074 votes were polled in Udhampur.

Out of 45,788 votes polled in Chenani, Congress winner Krishan Chander Bhagat secured 16,276 votes followed by BJP’s Dina Nath Bhagat, who took 9838 votes while NPP candidate Faquir Nath got 9131 votes. Congress wrested the seat from NPP with 6438 votes.

In Bhaderwah segment of Doda district, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad polled 38,238 votes to retain the seat while Daya Krishan Kotwal (BJP) got 8802 votes, Aslam Goni (NC) 6687 votes and Sheikh Mujeeb (PDP) took 2807 votes. Azad won the seat by 29,436 votes.

Doda proper was also retained by Congress candidate and former Minister Abdul Mujeed Wani who secured 23,254 votes while his NC rival Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardhy had 16,102 votes. BJP’s Ishtiyaq Wani took 2756 votes while PDP candidate got 1310 votes. Wani won by a margin of 7152 votes.

In Kishtwar district, NC candidate Sajjad Kitchloo retained Kishtwar seat by 2465 votes defeating his nearest rival Sunil Sharma of BJP. Out of 51,106 votes polled, Kitchloo took 19,248 votes while Sharma got 16,783. PDP candidate Syed Asgar Ali could muster only 10,403 votes while Congress candidate Jugal Bhandari managed 1121 votes.

Inderwal seat was also retained by Congress candidate and former Minister Ghulam Mohd Saroori by a margin of 10,411 votes. Out of 52,904 votes polled, Saroori took 22,682 while BJP candidate Shakti Parihar polled 12,269 and NC’s Karim Wani managed 9002.

Congress candidate Waqar Rasool won Banihal seat in Ramban district taking 8287 votes and defeating Independent candidate Showkat Daing by 3033 votes. Daing got 5254 votes while former MLA Banihal Moulvi Abdul Rashid secured 4960 votes. NC’s Sajjad Shaheen had 4558 votes.

Ramban seat also went to Congress with its candidate Ashok Kumar polling 21,779 votes, BJP’s Bali Bhagat 11,460 votes and NC’s Chaman Lal 11,395 votes. Chaman Lal was MLA in the previous Assembly. Congress won the seat by 10,319 votes.

In Poonch district, Poonch-Haveli seat went to NC’s Aijaz Jan, who polled 28,297 votes out of a total of 71,414 votes polled. Congress candidate Bashir Naz took 18,364 votes, PDP’s Imtiyaz Bandey got 11,950 votes while BJP’s Pardeep Sharma polled 6980 votes. Jan won the seat by nearly 10,000 votes.

Former PCC (I) chief and ex-Rajya Sabha member, Choudhary Aslam won Surankote seat after losing twice to NC’s Syed Mushtaq Bukhari. While Aslam managed 28,102 votes, Bukhari took 26,051 votes. PDP candidate Mumtaz Hussain Shah, a cousin of Bukhari took 6585 votes out of a total of 63,553 votes polled. Aslam won the seat by nearly 2200 votes.

NC leader Javed Rana lost in Mendhar to PDP’s Rafiq Hussain Khan by about 750 votes. While Rana polled 28,294 votes, Khan took 29,036 votes. Congress candidate Majeed Ahmed Khan polled 1559 votes only out of a total of 77,378 votes polled. PDP wrested the seat from NC.

In Rajouri district, Congress candidate Shabir Khan registered victory by 333 votes over PDP candidate Master Tassaduq Hussain. While Khan polled 10,013 votes, Tassaduq took 9680 votes. BJP’s Vibodh Gupta finished third at 8712 votes. Congress wrested the seat from NC.

Darhal seat went to PDP candidate Zulfikar Ali who polled 19,395 votes and defeated Independent Iqbal Malik (14,839 votes) by a margin of 4556 votes. NC candidate Choudhary Liaquat got 14,221 votes and Congress nominee and former Minister Puran Singh mustered only 12,500 votes. PDP wrested the seat from Congress.

NC leader RS Sharma recorded impressive victory in Nowshera by 3820 votes over Congress candidate and former Minister Dr Romesh Sharma. NC leader polled 16,511 votes while Congress candidate got 12,691 votes. BSP candidate Surinder Choudhary polled 12,186 votes while BJP’s Vishwinder Dev finished fourth at 11,701 votes. NC wrested the seat from Congress.

NC candidate Rashpal Singh retained Kalakote seat by 11,420 votes. He polled 25,314 votes while Congress rebel and Independent candidate Ashok Sharma got 13,894 votes. PDP candidate polled 7742 votes while Congress candidate Abdul Gani Kohli got 1077 votes.

In Kargil district, NC’s Qamar Ali Akhoon won Kargil seat defeating Independent Haji Nissar Ali, backed by Congress with nearly 3000 votes. Akhoon polled 22,935 votes while Haji got 17,635 votes. In Zanskar, NC’s Feroz Khan won by 918 votes. He secured 6552 votes while Congress candidate Ghulam Raza took 5634 votes.

In Leh district, Congress candidate and former Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora defeated sitting MP from Ladakh and LUTF nominee Thupstan Chewang by 1523 votes. Jora polled 19,008 votes while Chewang got 17,485 votes. In Nobra, LUTF candidate Tsetan Namgayal got 4608 votes while Congress candidate Tsewang Rigzin took 3778 votes. Tsetan won by 930 votes.

Qazi Afzal, who had defeated Omar Abdullah in 2002 polls, lost the Ganderbal constituency this time to the NC chief by a huge margin of 3,600 votes.

Similarly Tariq Qarra, who had entered into the Assembly in 2004 by-polls, was defeated by Irfan Ahmad Shah of National Conference.

Sakina Itoo made it to the Assembly from Noorabad constituency by defeating Zargar, who had won the earlier duel in 2002.

In the battle of rebels, PDP rebel Javaid Ahmad Dar, contesting on NC ticket, prevailed over National Conference rebel Mohammad Dillawar Mir, who had defected to PDP in 2005.

Usman Majid, Congress-backed Independent from Bandipora who was a Minister both in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led Government as well as Ghulam Nabi Azad-led dispensation, lost to PDP general secretary and MLC Nizamuddin Bhat.

Former Minister Ghulam Hassan Khan, who was contesting as an Independent candidate from Shopian constituency after he was denied ticket by PDP, lost to his PDP rival.

National Conference provincial president Dr Mehboob Beg was also among the prominent losers as he lost to former Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed from Anantnag constituency by a margin of over 5000 votes.

Mustafa Kamal, younger brother of NC patron Farooq Abdullah, lost to Ghulam Hassan Mir, a PDP rebel who had floated his own party before the seven-phased elections.

Former Minister Haji Nissar Ali, who was backed as an Independent candidate by Congress, lost by 3000 votes to his National Conference rival Qamar Ali Akhoon.

Abdul Rashid Shaheen of National Conference, Lok Sabha member from Baramulla constituency, was defeated by PDP leader Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari while another Lok Sabha member, Thupstan Chewang, who represents Leh Parliamentary seat, lost to former Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora of Congress by about 1500 votes.

The NC and PDP improved their position in the Kashmir region at the cost of Congress, CPI(M) and Independents.

Against 19 seats in 2002, the NC has improved by three seats while PDP won 19 seats against 16 in 2002.

However, the NC suffered a loss of one seat in North Kashmir where a total 15 seats were at stake. Against winning 8 seats in 2002, the party could won from seven seats this time.

PDP, however, improved winning five seats against three in 2002 while Congress could manage to get only one seat this time against two in 2002. The others retained two seats.

In South Kashmir, the NC got one seat this time against 2 in 2002. However, PDP improved by three seats as it had won nine in 2002 against 12 this time. But again Congress won two against three seats in 2002 while Communist Party of India (M) retained one and lost another.

Similarly, NC won two seats in Ladakh region, an improvement by one seat while Congress won one against zero in 2002. Only one Independent won against three in 2002 in the region.

The NC registered a major gain in Central Kashmir winning 12 seats against 8 in 2002. It made a clean sweep in Srinagar district winning all the eight seats this time against four in 2002.

The PDP lost one as against three seats in 2002 as it could get just two this time. Peoples Democratic Front retained one seat while all the three Independents lost this time.

The oldest political party of the State was particularly bouyed by the fact that both Patron Farooq Abdullah and president Omar Abdullah won the three seats they were contesting.

Abdullah senior, defeated PDP rivals from Hazratbal as well as Sonawar constituencies while his son Omar got his revenege this time by winning in Ganderbal Assembly constituency.

Ali Mohammad Sagar of National Conference was elected to the State Assembly for the fifth consecutive time. He won from Khanyar constituency for the third straight time. He had earlier won from Batamaloo in 1987 and 1983 elections.

Mubarak Gul of National Conference also made it three times in a row from Iddgah constituency while Shamima Firdous of the same party romped home a clear winner in Habbakadal constituency by defeating BJP candidate Hiralal Chatta by more than 2000 votes. Firdous, had lost to Raman Mattoo in 2002 elections.

NC leader Peer Mohammad Afaq defeated former MLA Shahejehan Dar of the PDP in Zadibal constituency.

However, the surprise package from the National Conference was Nasir Aslam Wani, who won from Amirakadal seat, proving all his critics wrong. Wani, who hailed from Sogam area in Kupwara district, overcame stiff challenge from PDP candidate Pervaiz Ahmad Bhat, Ahmreen Badar of Congress, and JKANC vice president Muzaffar Shah besides putting to rest the outsider-native debate that had raged in the constituency during the campaign.

In Kangan constituency, Mian Mohammad Altaf of NC was declared elected for the fourth straight time while Mohamamd Ashraf Ganaie wrested from Congress the Sopore seat.

Former Deputy Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone (NC) retained his Sonwari seat by a huge margin of over 12,000 votes while Nazir Ahmad Khan, Kafilur Rehman and Mir Saifullah (all NC) scored hattrick from Gurez, Karnah and Kupwara seats respectively.

However, the National Conference suffered setbacks in Lolab and Langate Assembly constituencies where PDP leader Abdul Haq Khan and Independent Abdul Rashid Shiekh defeated its candidates. The losers from these two seats were Qaiser Jamsheed Lone and Shariefuddin Shariq respectively.

Although PDP consolidated its gains made in 2002 polls by adding five more seats to its tally of 16 this year, the party suffered some shock defeats at the hands of National Conference. PDP stalwart and former Minister Tariq Hamid Qarra lost to Irfan Shah in Batamaloo segment while another former Minister of the party Dilawar Mir was defeated by PDP rebel and NC candidate Javaid Ahmad Dar in Rafiabad segment.

Abdul Aziz Zargar also lot his Noorabad seat to National Conference’s Sakina Ittoo.

However, the party made a clean sweep of Pulwama and Shopian districts, bagging all the six seats. The party also did well in Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed defeated NC provincial president Mehboob Beg in Anantnag constituency while PDP president Mehbooba Mufti won comfortably from Wacchi constituency.

Sartaj Madni, Abdul Gaffar Sofi, Abdul Rehman Bhat Veeri, Syed Bashir and Mohammad Khalil Bandh all retained Devsar, Homshalibugh, Bijbehara, Rajpora and Pulwama seats respectively for the PDP.

The party, which did not give mandate to former Minister Ghulam Hassan Khan from Shopian as his name had figured in 2006 sex scandal investigations, fielded Abdul Razaq Wagay, who won by a comfortable margin.

In Budgam district the two parties shared the spoils as both bagged two seats each while the remaining seat went to People’s Democratic Front (PDF) chairman Hakim Mohammad Yasin.

Abdul Rahim Rather of National Conference prevailed over Legislative Council Chairman G N Lone of PDP in Chrar-e-Sharief. Rather won the seat for the record sixth time, having won all the elections since 1977. Aga Syed Roohullah retained his Budgam seat by defeated PDP leader M. Kamaal Mir.

The PDP won from Chadoora where Javid Mustafa Mir won ahead of National Conference candidate Ali Mohammad Dar and Congress candidate G N Mir. The party also won from Beerwah as Shafi Ahmad prevailed over the competition by a slender margin 164 votes.

Hakim Yasin had fallen behind PDP’s Saifuddin Bhat, a Hurriyat Conference deserter, but in the end prevailed.

The NC and PDP prospered in the Valley at the cost of Congress as the party managed to retain only three of the five seats it had won in 2002 elections.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, despite being arrested in the sex scandal case in 2006, managed to retain his Dooru seat as did Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed from Kokernag, who was himself embroiled in many controversies a year ahead of the elections.

Taj Mohiuddin retained the Uri seat for the party but Sopore and Amirakadal constituencies went to National Conference.

Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami of CPI(M) won the Kulgam seat for the third time in a row but Mohammad Khalil Naik, who had won from Wacchi in 2002, lost this time.

Ghulam Hassan Mir, a PDP rebel who floated Democratic Nationalist Party ahead of elections, won from Gulmarg seat, defeating PDP candidate Ghulam Mohiuddin Sheikh and Mustafa Kamal, National Conference leader and brother of Farooq Abdullah.

Final Tally

Total Seats 87

NC 28

PDP 21

Cong 17

BJP 11

NPP 03

CPM 01

JKDP-N 01

PDF 01

indpendant-04
source:daily excelsior

Assembly poll elections announced in J&k(17 nov-24dec2008)

NEW DELHI, Oct 19: Overcoming differences within, the Election Commission today announced an unprecedented seven-phase Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir beginning November 17, saying it has taken a “risk” against the backdrop of boycott calls in the Valley.

The three-member Election Commission which was divided on holding polls gave the go ahead thereby signalling an end to the nearly six months of Governor’s rule imposed after the Amarnath land row in July this year.

Announcing the poll schedule, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said the exercise was being undertaken at a “risk” in view of the stand of certain political parties and outfits.

On whether political parties are ready for polls now, he said “it looks like. First you need to ask if political parties are ready. We are not conducting elections in a vacuum.

“See there were two noes and one in the no/yes category, what I call PO (positive) category. Yes, no and PO and afterward, one no became one yes and so now, we have one PO, one no and one yes. So we have taken a risk.”

 

This was in apparent reference to political parties in Kashmir like PDP which said no to polls at this junction and another major player, National Conference (NC), which gave its nod after having voiced initial reservation.

Keeping harsh winter months in mind, the EC announced polls for Leh and Kargil of Ladakh division alongwith snowbound areas of Gurez, Bandipora and Sonawari in North Kashmir on November 17.

The seven-phase elections will be held on November 17, 23, 30 and December seven, 13, 17 and 24. The counting of votes would take place on December 28 and the election process for the 87-member Assembly has to be completed by December 31 this year, Gopalaswami said.

The Assembly seats of Jammu and Srinagar cities would be going to polls in the last phase to be held on Dec 24.

The notification for the first phase covering ten Assembly constituencies would be issued on October 24 and the last date for filing nominations would be October 31. The scrutiny will take place on November 1 and the last date for withdrawal would be November 3.

The second phase would cover six Assembly segments and the notification would be issued on October 29. The last date for filing nominations would be on November 5 and the scrutiny will take place the following day. The last date for withdrawal would be on November 8.

For the third phase which would cover five constituencies, notification would be issued on November 4, Last date for filing nominations would be November 11 and the scrutiny the following day. The last date for withdrawal would be on November 14.

In the fourth phase in which 18 constituencies would be covered, notification would be issued on November 10. Last date for filing nominations would be on November 17 and scrutiny the following day. Last date for withdrawal would be on November 20.

 

The fifth phase would take care of 11 constituencies. Notification would be issued on November 17. Last date for filing nominations would be November 24 and the scrutiny the following day. The last date for withdrawal would be November 27.

The sixth phase would cover 16 constituencies. Notification would be issued on November 22. Last date for filing nominations would be on November 29 and the scrutiny would be on December 1. Nominations can be withdrawn till December 3.

For the seventh phase in which elections would be held for 21 constituencies, notification would be issued on November 26. Last date for filing nominations would be on December 3 and scrutiny the following day. Last date for withdrawal would be December 6.

Both Congress and BJP welcomed the announcement while the regional parties like NC were guarded in their response.

To a question whether the Commission was apprehensive of low turnout or boycott, Gopalaswami said “we have never said to anybody giving a call for boycott. The EC has never prevented anybody giving a call of his own liking.”

“What we have depended upon is political parties mobilising their voters and ensuring that the election goes on,” he said.

In an apparent reference to a likely poll boycott call to be given by separatists including Hurriyat Conference, the CEC said “…I don’t think anybody can enforce a boycott. They can call a boycott but they cannot enforce a boycott.”

Asked about difference of opinion within three-member Commission, the CEC said “as various issues need to be considered, so each person can take a stand on a particular issue and in a different manner…There are three Election Commissioners and at least there may be three opinions”.

As soon as the EC announced its decision, Congress spokesperson Shakil Ahmed said “the party is fully prepared for the elections and appeals to the people to vote without any fear.”

BJP spokesperson Prakash Jawdekar said “we welcome the decision and this has cleared many apprehensions. We are sure that the decision would prove to be a milestone in democratic history of the country and the State of Jammu and Kashmir in specific.”

Reacting to the EC decision, National Conference Chief Omar Abdullah gave a cautious reaction saying fear was that the polls may see a less turnout but nevertheless the State will see an elected Government. “The present dispensation was not able to address people’s problems,” Omar said.

Another regional party, PDP, herded its leaders into the house of its patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and were busy to formulate the party view.

The reason for an unprecedented seven-phase polls was attributed to availability of Central forces. “…Because we are also having elections elsewhere. So, that is the reason why you would have seen that unlike the last time where there were four phases, this time it is seven,” the CEC said.

Asked about the Commission’s concern about low turnout, Gopalaswami said “you see the turnout was a consideration only with the relevance to the political parties willingness. If political parties are not ready, then nobody is going to canvass.”

Observing that the Commission has prepared contingency plans to supplement the State machinery for conducting the polls, Gopalaswami said about 3,500 Government employees from outside could supplement the State machinery.

“Provided it is necessary, even in 2002, the State staff was supplemented by staff from outside. So as a supplementary measure, we had decided this,” he said.

The State, which has 65,38,111 electors, is currently under the Governor’s rule.

The State Assembly was dissolved following political instability after the PDP withdrew its support to the Congress-led Government in the wake of Amarnath land row. The span of Governor’s rule was to end on January 10, next year.

The CEC said that in view of the recent developments in the State, the Commission had a series of meetings with political parties, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and senior civil and police officers.

The Centre has assured the Commission that adequate number of contingents of Central police forces would be made available to ensure the safety, security and free movement of electors, candidates, leaders of political parties, polling personnel and guarding of polling materials and polling stations, he said.

The Election Commission has stated that it expects all officials engaged in the conduct of polls to discharge their duties in an impartial manner without any fear and favour, adding further that they shall be deemed to be on deputation to the Commission and shall be subject to its control, supervision and discipline. The officials will be under constant scrutiny of the Commission and strict action will be taken against those who are found wanting on any account.

There are a total of 8,109 polling stations in the State and for facilitating physically-challenged persons, instructions have been issued to ensure that all polling stations are located preferably at ground floor and ramps are also provided. Facilitation shall also be provided for locating the elector’s name against a polling station or a group of polling stations through help-lines and facilitation centres.

Based on the assessment of the ground situation, forces drawn from other States will be deployed during the forthcoming elections. These security personnel will be generally used for safeguarding the polling stations and for providing security to the electors and polling personnel at the polling stations on the polling day. Besides, these forces will be used for securing the strong rooms where the EVMs are stored and at the counting centres.

Pertinent to recall that the poll schedule for J&K was announced following the meeting of the Commission with the representatives of recognized National and State parties on 8th September at New Delhi. Thereafter, the Commission held parleys with State Chief Secretary and Director General of Police as well as the Union Home Secretary to assess the poll preparedness and security situation in the State on 10th September. Earlier this month, another round of meetings was held with the Advisors to the Governor on 7th October which was followed by a meeting of the Commission with the State Chief Secretary and the DGP.

The polls in the State will be conducted at all polling stations using EVMs for which the Commission has already made arrangements to ensure availability for smooth conduct of elections. A two-staged randomization of EVMs will be made. In the first stage, all the EVMs stored in the District Storage Centre will be randomized for allocation Assembly constituency wise. After the EVMs in a constituency are prepared for the poll by the Returning Officer and the ballot units are fitted with the ballot papers, then the EVMs will again be randomized to decide the actual polling stations in which they will be ultimately used. Both the randomization processes will be done in the presence of Observers and Candidates of their election agents.

Besides, the Election Commission has already given instructions that no election-related official or police officer of the rank of Sub Inspector and above shall be allowed to continue in his home district. Besides, instructions have also been issued that all the election-related officials including the police officials, who have completed three years in a district during last four years should be transferred out of the district.

The Election Commission has also instructed the State Government not to associate any officer with the electoral process against whom charges have been framed in a court of law in any case.

For the protection of SC/ST electors, as per Section 3(1) (vii) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled caste or Scheduled Tribe, forces or intimidates a member of SC or ST not to vote or to vote to a particular candidate or to vote in a manner than that provided by law shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine. The Commission has asked the State Government to bring these provisions to the notice of all concerned for prompt action.

The Election Commission has further stated that the poll schedule has been prepared after taking into account all relevant aspects like the climatic conditions, academic schedules, festivals, prevailing law and order situation and availability of Central Police Forces, besides assessment of other ground realities. (Agencies)

Polling schedule

Following is the list of ten Assembly constituencies going to polls in Phase-1.

Assembly Constituency District Region.

1. Gurez Bandipora Kashmir 2. Bandipora Bandipora Kashmir 3. Sonawari Bandipora Kashmir

4. Nobra Leh Ladakh5. Leh Leh Ladakh 6. Kargil Kargil Ladakh 7. Zanskar Kargil Ladakh

8. Surankote Poonch Jammu 9. Mendhar Poonch Jammu 10. Poonch-Haveli Poonch Jammu

Following is the list of six Assembly constituencies going to polls in Phase-2.

Assembly Constituency District Region.

1. Kangan Ganderbal Kashmir2. Ganderbal Ganderbal Kashmir 3. Nowshera Rajouri Jammu

4. Darhal Rajouri Jammu 5. Rajouri Rajouri Jammu 6. Kalakote Rajouri Jammu

Following is the list of five Assembly constituencies going to polls in Phase-3.

Assembly Constituency District Region.

1. Karnah Kupwara Kashmir 2. Kupwara Kupwara Kashmir 3. Lolab Kupwara Kashmir

4. Handwara Kupwara Kashmir 5. Langate Kupwara Kashmir

Following is the list of eighteen Assembly constituencies going to polls in Phase-4.

Assembly Constituency District Region.

1. Uri Baramulla Kashmir 2. Rafiabad Baramulla Kashmir 3. Sopore Baramulla Kashmir

4. Sangrama Baramulla Kashmir 5. Baramulla Baramulla Kashmir 6. Gulmarg Baramulla Kashmir

7. Pattan Baramulla Kashmir 8. Chadoora Budgam Kashmir 9. Budgam Budgam Kashmir

10. Beerwah Budgam Kashmir 11. Khansahib Budgam Kashmir 12. Chrar-i-Sharief Budgam Kashmir

13. Gulabgarh Reasi Jammu 14. Reasi Reasi Jammu 15. Gool Arnas Reasi Jammu

16. Udhampur Udhampur Jammu 17. Chenani Udhampur Jammu 18. Ramnagar Udhampur Jammu

Following is the list of eleven Assembly constituencies going to polls in Phase-5.

Assembly Constituency District Region.

1. Tral Pulwama Kashmir 2. Pampore Pulwama Kashmir 3. Pulwama Pulwama Kashmir

4. Rajpora Pulwama Kashmir 5. Wachi Shopian Kashmir 6. Shopian Shopian Kashmir

7. Bani Kathua Jammu 8. Basohli Kathua Jammu 9. Kathua Kathua Jammu

10. Billawar Kathua Jammu 11. Hiranagar Kathua Jammu

Following is the list of sixteen Assembly constituencies going to polls in Phase-6.

Assembly Constituency District Region.

1. Noorabad Kulgam Kashmir 2. Kulgam Kulgam Kashmir 3. Home-shalibugh Kulgam Kashmir

4. Anantnag Anantnag Kashmir 5. Devsar Kulgam Kashmir 6. Dooru Anantnag Kashmir

7. Kokernag Anantnag Kashmir 8. Shangus Anantnag Kashmir 9. Bijbehara Anantnag Kashmir

10. Pahalgam Anantnag Kashmir 11. Kishtwar Kishtwar Jammu 12. Inderwal Kishtwar Jammu

13. Doda Doda Jammu 14. Bhaderwah Doda Jammu 15. Ramban Ramban Jammu

16. Banihal Ramban Jammu

Following is the list of twenty-one Assembly constituencies going to polls in Phase-7.

Assembly Constituency District Region.

1. Hazratbal Srinagar Kashmir 2. Zadibal Srinagar Kashmir 3. Idgah Srinagar Kashmir

4. Khanyar Srinagar Kashmir 5. Habbakadal Srinagar Kashmir 6. Amirakadal Srinagar Kashmir

7. Sonawar Srinagar Kashmir 8. Batamaloo Srinagar Kashmir 9. Samba Samba Jammu

10. Vijaypur Samba Jammu 11. Nagrota Jammu Jammu 12. Gandhinagar Jammu Jammu

13. Jammu East Jammu Jammu 14. Jammu West Jammu Jammu 15. Bishnah Jammu Jammu

16. R S Pura Jammu Jammu 17. Suchetgarh Jammu Jammu 18. Marh Jammu Jammu

19. Raipur Domana Jammu Jammu 20. Akhnoor Jammu Jammu 21. Chhamb Jammu Jammu (PTI)