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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

AAP's road show stoned in north Kashmir, Bhat blames political rivals

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, March 09, 2014
First Published: 19:44 IST(9/3/2014) | Last Updated: 20:15 IST(9/3/2014)

A road show of Aam Admi Party's (AAP) Parliament candidate Raja Muzaffar Bhat, 35, was attacked with stones in north Kashmir's Bandipora district on Sunday afternoon.

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The incident took place around 1:30 pm, immediately after Bhat concluded his party workers' convention at the Town Hall of Bandipora, 40 km from Srinagar.

"After the convention, our workers insisted on a road show. We were on-board several vehicles when a few stoned were tossed at us," Bhat told the Hindustan Times.

He said no AAP worker received any serious injuries in the attack. He blamed the opponents from the mainstream political parties for the mischief.

"They were apparently from the rival political parties. I don't suspect separatist supporters hand behind the attack," said Bhat, who is AAP's parliament candidate for Srinagar-Budgam constituency.

However, eyewitnesses told the Hindustan Times that four AAP workers were hit by the stones. They said it was intense stone-pelting, which occurred near Eaglets Public School, and forced the AAP leaders to run for cover.

The AAP activists were beating drums and raising slogans when they were attacked and chased by youth raising anti-India slogans. The AAP leader and workers went to the district police lines. An FIR has been lodged in the incident.

When contacted, Bandipora superintendent of police Muhammad Shafi Mir refused to comment on the incident.

The attack has come just a day after the AAP candidate organised a door-to-door campaign in central Kashmir's Budgam district.

"Several people did on-the-spot registration with the AAP in many villages during the campaign. A large number of youth, especially young women, participated in the campaign," said Bhat, who is pitted against National Conference stalwart and union minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah.

This is first poll related violence in Kashmir, scheduled to go for five-phase Lok Sabha elections from second week of April.

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