Shutdown observed in Kashmir against Indian elections

SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown is being observed in Indian occupied Kashmir on Thursday against the first phase of Indian election as well as brutal measures against the Kashmiri people and their leadership.

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The call for strike was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gillani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.

The JRL in a statement said, “The strike is aimed to protest against the “National Investigation Agency (NIA) aggression which includes the shifting of JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik to Delhi’s Tihar jail under the pretext of questioning by the National Investigation Agency, rigorous questioning of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at NIA headquarters in Delhi and sustained interrogation and repeated summoning of two sons of APHC Chairman Syed Ali Gilani to Delhi by NIA.”

The shutdown is also being observed against the closure of Kashmir’s main highway for civilians and the recent attack by Indian police and forces on inmates in Srinagar Central Jail.

Indians began voting on Thursday in the first phase of a mammoth general election, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi gunning for a second term.

Voting in the first of seven rounds is being held in 91 parliament constituencies across 20 states and federally administered regions. There are 543 seats at stake.

The main opposition Congress party, which wrested three major farming states from the BJP in December by promising to waive the outstanding loans of distressed farmers, has looked for allies among regional parties to defeat the BJP over its record on the economy.

Spread over 39 days, the final phase of the election will be held on May 19, and the result will be announced on May 23.

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