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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Geelani starts boycott campaign against 2014 elections in J&K

Ashiq Hussain , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, April 13, 2013
First Published: 19:42 IST(13/4/2013) | Last Updated: 19:43 IST(13/4/2013)

Kashmir’s senior most separatist leader Syed Ali Shan Geelani on Saturday formally launched his election boycott campaign urging the youth to start informing people how elections put the Kashmir issue on the back-foot.

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The 83-year-old pro-Islamic leader wanted the pro-freedom youngsters of valley to take their point of view to the grassroot level by reaching those who vote in “elections held by India”.

“To defeat the purpose of the coming election process is need of the hour. The way security agencies have been ruling here and killing people at their will, it becomes even more necessary to shun the elections,” Geelani said in a statement.

“By participating in the elections, we make the mistake of giving India a handle to present it as right to self determination before the world. And also it gets a chance to say that the struggle in Kashmir was its internal issue,” he said.

Kashmir is going to vote for the new assembly in 2014 when the tenure of the current National Conference-Congress coalition government comes to an end.

Last assembly elections in 2008 had witnessed a huge turnout of people despite unprecedented anti India and pro-freedom marches and election boycott calls by separatists.

Owing to the huge participation of people in assembly and Parliament elections, separatists with the exception of Geelani found it prudent to tie their tongues when Panchayat elections were held in 2011.

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