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'Candidate's murder unrelated to polls'

india Updated: Apr 16, 2011 17:17 IST
Amir Karim Tantray
Amir Karim Tantray
Hindustan Times
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Reacting to the killing of panchayat election candidate in Budgam district of Kashmir valley, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that the killing is not related to panchayat elections.

On intervening night of Friday-Saturday, unidentified gunmen killed Haseena Akhtar 45, in Karpora village of Pakharpora in Budgam district. Haseena was a candidate for the ongoing panchayat elections.

Talking to media persons here, Omar said, “It is true that Haseena was a candidate but perhaps her killing is not related to these elections.”

“As police has told me, the investigation is going on and it had not been found that her killing is related to these elections,” Omar said, adding, “As and when there will be any development, you will come to know.”

Before the start of panchayat elections, the militant groups warned people to stay away from the polling process but during the first phase of these elections on April 13, people defied the call and came to vote in huge numbers and the average percentage of polling was around 80 percent during first phase.

The panchayat elections are taking place in the state after 10 years and will be completed in 16 phases.

Candidates contesting these elections in militancy infested areas of the state since beginning had the fear of getting killed in hands of militants but still government hasn’t provided any security to these candidates.

A senior police officer requesting anonymity said that it is not possible to provide security to every candidate as their number is high.

Meanwhile, reacting on the cash for vote issue during the council elections, Omar said, “I don’t have any information of any cash for vote. It is the media which have created this story.”

During the council elections held on April 13, out of 11 BJP members in legislative Assembly cross voted in favour of coalition candidates. It is being alleged that they cross voted for money. When the news came out, all the 11 BJP legislators submitted their resignation to party president. They now have been summoned to New Delhi on April 19 for further proceedings.

On filing of any against these legislators, Omar said, “Cases aren’t filed on rumours. In parliament also few members brought money in the house but nothing proved. If media wants to file a case, do it.