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On martyrs’ day, governor calls for making J&K peaceful, prosperous

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Srinagar, July 12: Governor N. N. Vohra has called upon the leaders of all political and religious parties and social organizations and the people of the state to shed all differences and join hands to make Jammu and Kashmir peaceful, prosperous and among the leading states in the country.

In his message on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day, Governor observed that Jammu and Kashmir is known for its glorious pluralistic ethos, amity and brotherhood, and urged the people to work towards restoring the pristine glory of the State as an abode of peace, harmony and prosperity.
Martyrs’ day is observed every year on July 13 to pay homage to 22 martyrs who died fighting the Dogra rule in 1931.

National Conference paid glowing tributes to the 22 valiant martyrs of 13th July, 1931 on the 87th Youm-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir. Highlighting the valour and selfless sacrifices of the martyrs, NationalConference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah said 13th July 1931 was a watershed moment in the history of Kashmir and marked the beginning of a struggle against tyranny, oppression and despotism.

 

In his message on the occasion, National Conference President and Member of Parliament for Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said the sacrifices of the valiant martyrs was timeless and continues to inspire millions of people to fight for justice, truth and peace. “The undying thirst for dignity cannot be suppressed by injustice and the 13th July Martyrs proved that non-violence and persistence always prevails over oppression and tyranny in the end. I pay my humble tributes to the martyrs and make a fervent appeal to the people in general and our youth in particular to be well informed about the history of our struggle against oppression and tyranny”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said in his message.

In his message on this occasion, National Conference Vice President Mr. Omar Abdullah said the sacrifices of the martyrs of 13th July will continue to be a beacon of humanity’s fight for dignity and justice. “I pay my humble tributes to our great martyrs who laid down their lives to pave way for a struggle against despotism and tyranny. It was their sacrifice that proved a turning point in our history and inspired millions of oppression Kashmiris to rise in unison against an oppression dictatorship. 13th July will always be a day where the people of Kashmir will reiterate their commitment to overcoming evil with kindness, non-violence and peace”, Omar Abdullah said in his message.

Former Chief Minister and PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti also paid rich tributes to the Martyrs of July 13, 1931 terming their sacrifices as the golden chapter in the history of Jammu & Kashmir.

In her message on the occasion, the former Chief Minister said the brave hearts of 1931 sacrificed their lives for laying the foundation of a system based on equality, justice and liberty in the State adding their sacrifices ought to be safeguarded, respected and protected by every citizen and no sacrifice is big enough to guard their contribution.

Mehbooba Mufti said the best way to pay homage to these heroes is to develop Jammu & Kashmir as an egalitarian and tolerant society, free from the distinctions of religion, region, caste or creed. “The heroes of 1931 had dreamed of a democratic, prosperous and tolerant Jammu & Kashmir for which they even laid their lives. It’s now our responsibility and challenge to make the State truly a model by strengthening these ideals and guarding them firmly,” she said in her message.

Separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani also paid rich tributes to 13th July martyrs.
Geelani said that they with their blood created history and terming these martyrs as mile stone of the freedom movement.
Geelani said that though they laid down their precious lives for sacred cause, yet the mission remains unfinished and added that ongoing freedom struggle is in sequence and a chain of the very mission commenced in 1931.


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LOK SABHA ELECTIONS: 13.6% turnout in Anantnag district

Segment-wise %age: Bijbehara 2.04, Anantnag 3.47, Dooru 17.28, Kokernag 19.50, Shangus 15.10, Pahalgam 20.37

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Apr 23: The Anantnag district Tuesday witnessed a low voter turnout of 13.6 per cent in the third phase of the parliamentary elections.

Tuesday witnessed the first phase of the 3-phased polls for Anantnag Parliamentary seat, which also comprises of Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts.

Once considered PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s bastion, the Bijbehara segment recorded the lowest poll percentage of 2.04%. Pahalgam recorded the highest turnout at 20.37%.

 

Addressing media persons, Chief Electoral Officer, J&K Shailendra Kumar said that polling took place “without any untoward incident”.

Divulging segment wise details of the district, the CEO informed that the percentage of the total votes polled in Anantnag segment  was 3.47 per cent, Dooru 17.28, Kokernag 19.50, Shangus 15.10, Bijbehara 2.04 and Pahalgam 20.37 %.

Kumar said that out of 5.27 lakh voters (2.69 lakh males) and (2.57 females), 71777 voters cast their vote.

He said that 54,663 voters were to cast their vote for the first time, adding that 44,536 voters were in the age group of 18 -21 years.

In Kokernag as per Kumar, 18312 votes were polled with a polling percentage of 19.36% and in Shangus 13354 votes were polled with a poll percentage of 15.09%.

In Bijbehara, 1905 votes were polled with a polling percentage of 2.04% and in Pahalgam 17649 votes  were polled with a polling percentage of 20.37%.  

Kumar said that “total poll percentage of three phases held so far stands at 48.87%.”

He said that for the smooth polling, the ECI had setup 714 polling stations in the district. The ECI had also established 21 model polling stations, 12 all women model polling stations.

He complemented all those involved in the poll process including political parties and election staff.

The polling took place in 714 polling stations including 21 migrant polling stations and 71 model polling stations.

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Bleak turnout may hit PDP

‘My father’s workers will ensure my victory’

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Srinagar, Apr 23: With the overall voter turnout in the first of the three-phase polling in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency settling below 10 per cent till 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the fate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti hangs precariously in the balance in what was till recently her party’s bastion.

The bad news for Mufti is that voters in her ancestral town Bijbehara and the neighbouring Anantnag showed very little interest to come out and join the poll process.

Mufti won this Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and resigned in 2016 to become the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir following the death of her father, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

 

She later won the 2016 bypoll for the Anantnag Assembly seat to get elected to the 87-member state legislative Assembly. Anantnag Assembly seat fell vacant due to Mufti Senior’s death in 2016.

In contrast to the less than 3 per cent voter turnout in Bijbehara and Anantnag segments that have traditionally been PDP strongholds, the turnout was better in Dooru, Kokernag and Shangus segments where her Congress rival, Ghulam Ahmad Mir has strong voter support.

The voter turnout has also been good in the Pahalgam segment, but it is believed that the PDP and the National Conference (NC) would cut almost equally here, again giving an edge to the Congress candidate.

Voting will be held in Kulgam district of the constituency on April 29 and in Shopian and Pulwama districts on May 6 and the voter turnout in these remaining districts may make or mar the electoral prospects of the PDP President.

Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti Tuesday said that the workers of her father Mufti Sayeed will ensure her victory in the Lok Sabha polls.

After casting her vote in Bijbehara area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Mehbooba said that “this time my father Late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed is not with me but his workers who have worked for him are still there.”

“I hope the workers of my father will ensure my victory in this election,” Mehbooba told reporters.

Asked about low voter turnout in her hometown Bijbehara, Mehbooba said, “I am hopeful of good results.”

Mehbooba is among the 18 candidates who are in fray for South Kashmir Lok Sabha constituency.

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‘Mehbooba disowned her birth place; we just returned the favour today’

Firdous Hassan

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Bijbehara, Apr 23: Barely 100 meters away from the ancestral home of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) founder Late Mufti Sayeed, in Baba Mohalla Bijbehara, a group of seven elderly men were Tuesday drawing comparison between the ongoing and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Sitting on a pavement close to late Mufti’s ancestral house, they lamented the party’s downfall in the town particularly after the death of the PDP founder, which was followed by her daughter Mehbooba Mufti taking over the party in 2015.

As their arguments grew louder, a number of youth, who were sitting near the shrine of Baba Naseem-ud-din Gazi (RA), too joined in. They all justified the town’s “total boycott” of the Lok Sabha elections this year.

 

By noon, only 78 votes had been polled in the town which has 6,756 electorates.

Only 27 votes were polled in three polling booths closest to Mehbooba’s ancestral home.

All these men and youth were seemingly unhappy with the PDP chief for “disowning” her home town soon after taking over as the Member of Parliament (MP) and later Chief Minister of the state.

A man in his 60s said that Mehbooba during her speech soon after being elected as MP in 2014 claimed that she belonged to the nearby Akhran village.

“Her father Mufti Sayeed sahab lived here and she too managed to garner people’s support from here in 2014. How could she later claim that she never belonged to the town? The same day we started losing our hopes in her,” he said.

Abdul Salam, another elderly person, said that Muftis “have now even changed their graveyard from Baba Mohalla to Dara Shikoh Park.”

“People are very angry with them. Mufti Sahab could have been buried in his ancestral graveyard, which the family didn’t prefer. In 2014, we saw a large number of voters coming out of their homes to support the party, which is not happening now,” he said.

Regretting the loss the area faced with the death of Mufti Sayeed, the locals claimed Mehbooba “ignored the people of her town. That was the reason why people were showing their backs to PDP”.

“Mufti Sahab would visit to the town every now and then. But we haven’t seen Mehbooba ji after she won her elections in 2014. So people this time preferred to boycott the election,” said a youth supported by others.

One of the locals questioned the PDP’s approach towards the town by pointing towards a street, which was littered with garbage.

“Do you expect streets in a chief minister’s town looking like this?” he questioned, while pointing towards the street.

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