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Polling booth for least voters and one at highest altitude, Leh has it all

Press Trust of India

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Leh: A polling booth for the least number of voters and one at the highest altitude, Leh has it all among the 11,316 polling stations set up for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

The polling station for casting votes for the least number of voters – only 12 – has been set up at Gaik village under Leh assembly segment of Ladakh parliamentary constituency, Leh District Electoral Officer Anvy Lavasa old PTI.

“Gaik polling station (number 38) has the lowest voters, only 12,” she said.

 

The voters at Gaik village include only five males and seven females, she added.

Similarly the district also has a polling station at the highest altitude in the country at 14,890 ft above the sea level, she said, adding this polling station with the unique distinction has been set up at a place called Anlay Pho.

She said the two are among the 294 polling stations set up in Leh assembly segment.

A total of 11,316 polling stations have been set up in the state for 78,42,979 voters to exercise their rights of franchise in the multi-phase parliamentary polls in Jammu and Kashmir starting April 11 to choose six MPs.

Out of the six parliamentary constituencies, the Ladakh constituency also has the distinction of having the least number of polling stations, only 559, for the lowest voters numbering 1,71,819.
Leh and Kargil districts, forming parts of Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency, have 294 and 265 polling stations respectively.

As per the official figures, most of the polling stations have been set up at an altitude of 8,001 to 13,000 feet with the maximum number of high-altitude stations, numbering 183, located in Leh assembly segment, followed by 158 in Kargil segment.

Over 190 polling stations have been set up at altitudes between 7,001 to 8,000 feet.


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Day 39: Normal life still out of gear in Kashmir; schools remain shut, public transport off roads

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar: Normal life remained affected in Kashmir as the stalemate following the abrogation of Article 370 entered its 39th day on Thursday with schools closed and public transport off the roads, officials said.

Restrictions on the movement or assembly of people have been lifted from most areas of the valley, but security forces continued to be deployed to maintain law and order, the officials said.

They said the authorities were also considering easing out restrictions on mobile communications and restoring voice call services.

 

While landlines across the valley were functional, voice calls on mobile devices were working only in Kupwara and Handwara police districts of north Kashmir.

However, normal life remained severely affected across the valley due to shutdown which entered 39th day on Thursday, the officials said.

Markets and other business establishments remained closed, while public transport was off the roads across the valley, they added.

Internet services remained suspended across all platforms, the officials said.

The efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne any fruit as parents continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety.

Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into custody while mainstream leaders including three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have also been either detained or placed under house arrest.

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NC leader Akbar Lone ‘appreciates’ Pakistan’s role in raking up Kashmir issue

Agencies

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SRINAGAR: National Conference leader and MP Akbar Lone has “appreciated” the role of Pakistan in raking up the Kashmir issue internationally and “putting pressure” on India, even as he said that his party must contest elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lone told IANS in an interview that contesting elections has been compulsion in the past though “Kashmiris don’t belong to India”.

“We will have to first understand what powers the new Assembly will have in the event of any elections taking place. As a man from National Conference, whatever the elections, we must contest elections,” he said.

 

Batting for a united stand by political parties against the abrogation of Article 370, Lone said that all parties must stand together for the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“All parties like the Congress, National Conference, PDP and other small and big groups must join hands to carry out agitation against India for the return of the special status of the state,” Lone added.

Lone said the clampdown in Kashmir is stopping people from showing their resentment against the scrapping of the special status.

“It is military rule in Kashmir. Every nook and corner of the state is guarded by the Army, by paramilitary forces, people are not allowed to come out, if they would have been allowed to come out, they would have showed their resentment,” Lone said.

He said that he “appreciated” the role of Pakistan and other countries in raking the Kashmir issue internationally and “putting pressure” on India.

“It is a good thing that Pakistan or China or US any other country rakes up the Kashmir issue internationally and supports the cause, they have exposed India, otherwise India would have taken the move as a success without caring about who is who,” he said.

Lone demanded the release of former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah and said the party leadership must be allowed to meet these senior leaders to decide the future course of action.

“We must be allowed to see our leaders and they must be released, we will sit down along with other parties to chalk out a joint course of action,” Lone said.

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Kashmir integral part of India, says Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind

Press Trust of India

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Top Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JuH) on Thursday came out in support of the Centre’s decision of abrogating provisions of Article 370, saying Kashmir is an “integral part” of the country and the welfare of people in the Valley lies in their integration with India.

In the resolution passed in its annual general meeting held in New Delhi, JuH rallied for a united India.

“It is our belief that the welfare of the people of Kashmir lies in getting integrated with India. The inimical forces and the neighbouring country are bent upon destroying Kashmir. The oppressed and beleaguered people of Kashmir are stuck between opposing forces,” it said, without mentioning Article 370.

 

“JuH stands steadfastly for the unity and integrity of the country and has accorded it paramount importance. As such it can never support any separatist movement, rather it considers such movements not only harmful for India but also for the people of Kashmir,” it said.

It also said that the current situation in Kashmir demands that peaceful initiatives be launched to maintain peace and security in the region, especially in the view of the repercussions of clash of “atomic powers”.

The Muslim body also appealed to the government of India to protect the people of Kashmir and their property while respecting human rights.

“It must use every possible constitutional means for bringing back normalcy in the region and winning the hearts of the people of Kashmir,” it said.

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