Wed. Oct 16th, 2019

Old city parts of Srinagar stick to boycott tradition, uptown areas register thin turn out

People living at a Srinagar hillock—Fakir Gujri, vote to protect JK’s special status, state subject laws

Srinagar: While as all the polling stations in downtown Srinagar wore a deserted look with majority of them witnessed zero percent polling as people kept their date with the tradition of staying away from the elections, thin attendance of voters was witnessed elsewhere in Srinagar district except Fakir-Gujri, a village of nomadic community located at a hillock where festive scenes were witnessed.
The deserted polling booths in old parts of Srinagar city projected a disappointing situation as the roads were dotted with the forces personnel and at some places young boys were playing cricket on the deserted streets. “For us election day is a holiday and nothing else,” said a group of young boys while play cricket on a deserted road at Nowhatta.
A polling booth at Khanyar had witnessed only ten votes throughout the day and same was the situation in elsewhere in downtown that include Safa Kadal, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Mahraj Gunj and other adjoining areas. “The boycott largely prevailed in downtown. It has been the tradition of the people of downtown to stay away from the polls,” said a group of people who were out on a deserted street in Habakadal .
The situation was somehow different in uptown areas that include Nishat, Shalimar, Dara, Theed, Harwan and the picturesque Fakir Gujri area on the Srinagar outskirts where people, especially those from the nomadic community were lined up in long queues waiting for their turn to cast votes.
Barring Fakir Gujri, where people voted en-masse, thin voting was witnessed in Shalimar, Nishat, Harwan and Theed areas. Those who voted asserted that they are voting for the protection of special status of Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of article 370 and state subject law guaranteed in article 35 A.
At Fakir Gujri, men, women, elderly and many first time voters, were lined up, desperately waiting for their turn to cast votes. “This village is far from Srinagar but we have never boycotted and will never boycott in future too. Today, we have a solid reason to cast our votes as our identity and special status is under a massive threat,” said “One of residents said, that almost every voter of the area has come to vote today”. “After all it is the question of our land. We will not allow outsiders to settle down here at any cost,” he said.


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The Kashmir Horizon