On Poll Day, Mehbooba Accuses Admin Of 'Engineering 1987-Like Rigging'

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer) Anantnag- Former Chief Minister and People's Democratic Party President, Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday alleged that her party workers and polling agents were being detained in Police stations“without any reason”-accusing admin of“engineering 1987-like rigging.” While as Police claimed they had detained Over Ground Workers (OGW) from the erstwhile militancy-infested areas in south Kashmir.

Mehbooba Mufti also claimed that complaints regarding the efforts to“tamper the EVMs” were being received for which she had alerted Election Commission of India. Mehbooba Mufti, who is a candidate from Anantnag–Rajouri Lok Sabha seat in South Kashmir where voting was held today on May 25, staged a protest along with party leaders and workers.


The former chief minister is contesting the elections from Anantnag-Rajouri seat where 58% voter turnout was recorded till 7:PM during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections

Mufti, also claimed that outgoing calls on her mobile number were suspended. Police, however, said those detained are overground workers (OGWs) and the action was taken to ensure smooth conduct of elections.

Mufti, among 20 candidates in the fray from the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, staged a sit-in outside Bijbehara police station on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The protesters raised slogans against the Jammu and Kashmir administration and demanded that those detained be immediately released.

Read Also Anantnag Records 53%- Highest Voter Turnout Since 1984 Poll Process For 5 Lok Sabha Seats In J&K Ends

“Our PDP polling agents are being targeted and arrested. We are asking the reason but they are not saying anything. If they are so afraid of me going to the Parliament, then the Lieutenant Governor should tell me not to fight elections,” Mehbooba Mufti told reporters outside pink polling booth at Bijbihara.

The Anantnag-Rajouri seat is a battleground for a three-way contest in the first election after the abrogation of Article 370 and redrawing of its political map.

Mufti, is contesting against Mian Altaf of the National Conference (NC), and Zafar Iqbal Manhas of the Apni Party, making the outcome in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat highly unpredictable.

Mufti said this kind of 'rigging' was witnessed in 1987 which many believe led to the eruption of militancy in Kashmir. Police, however, said only a few people with a“tainted” past record and who can threaten law and order on polling day have been detained.

“LG sahib especially belongs to a party like BJP and one of their great leaders, Vajpayee ji, had assured people of Jammu and Kashmir that free and fair elections would be ensured. However, unfortunately, they haven't learnt anything.”“Ab 'Unko Mehbooa Mufti Se Bahut Dar Lagta Hai.....'

Police and civil officers rushed to the scene and unsuccessfully tried to persuade Mufti for over an hour to lift the blockade, officials said. Police personnel resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the swelling crowds of onlookers, they said. Mufti left the protest site briefly to cast her vote and returned.

Pertinently on Friday, Mehbooba Mufti had written to the Election Commission claiming that police detained PDP workers and polling agents.

“Those who have been detained are overground workers and have been taken into preventive custody to ensure peaceful polling,” a police official said.

Notably, the Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary constituency in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir recorded a voter turnout of 52.28 per cent as of 7:45 pm, marking the highest participation in many decades. According to officials, in the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections, the three Parliamentary constituencies in the valley - Srinagar (38.49 per cent), Baramulla (59.1 per cent), and Anantnag-Rajouri (52.28 per cent) - recorded the highest voter turnouts in decades.

Officials said that polling for Anantnag-Rajouri was conducted at 2,338 polling stations, with live webcasting at these stations ensuring transparency. Voting commenced at 7 am across the constituency. The Election Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, applauded the democratic spirit displayed by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir, in the Anantnag-Rajouri PC polling too, have reposed faith in democracy and proved naysayers wrong,” they said in a statement.

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