Day before polls, 2 killed in J&K violence | india | Hindustan Times
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Day before polls, 2 killed in J&K violence

The number of protesters injured in north Kashmir's Baramulla town, where two youth died in firing by security forces at people protesting against the holding of elections in J&K, has risen to 10, a doctor said.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2008 01:14 IST
Rashid Ahmad

A CLASS X boy was killed when security guards of a Congress candidate fired at a mob and a man died when the police opened fire to disperse people who had come out to protest the student’s killing in Baramulla on Saturday, a day ahead of the second phase of polling in the state.

A curfew has been imposed in the town, which goes to the polls in the fourth phase on December 7.

At around 11 am, some locals gathered at Khanpora locality to protest against elections and started marching towards the main town, sources said. Mushtaq Mir, Congress candidate from Baramulla, was passing through.

“The protestors stoned his cavalcade. His security guards opened fire, killing a person,” a local police official, who didn’t wish to be identified, said.

The victim has been identified as Manzoor Ahmad Kumar, a class X student of a local school. “He was coming out of school, and was hit by a bullet outside the main gate,” Jahangir Ahmad, a local, said.

The killing sparked protests. Hundreds of residents came on to the streets and clashed with police, which opened fire in Idgah Qadeem in the old town. Two persons were injured. One of them, Manzoor Ahmad, died on way to hospital.

Separatists have called for a boycott of assembly elections being held in seven phases. Sunday is the second round in which voting for six seats — Rajouri, Darhal, Kalakote and Nowshera in Rajouri district and Ganderbal and Kangan in the Valley — will be held.

The focus, however, is largely on Ganderbal, where National Conference president Omar Abdullah is trying his luck again. Last time, he lost to Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP) Qazi Mohammad Afzal, a contestant this time as well.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who launched the campaign for Afzal, raked up “natives versus outsider” debate. “We’re a party in touch with the people… The NC leaders are visiting politicians,” she said.

Apologises are also being tendered. The PDP has been apologising for Qazi’s role in allotting land to Amarnath board. The NC has promised not to neglect people or their problems.

With inputs from Arun Joshi in Ganderbal