Srinagar, October 10 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown is being observed in the areas where India is staging election drama for the second phase of local bodies’ elections in the territory.

The strike is being observed on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. The leadership has urged people to stage boycott of the sham elections.

“Secrecy, manipulation and bribery are the hallmark of this twisted exercise,” the leadership said in a joint statement issued in Srinagar.

Strict restrictions have been imposed across the territory, particularly in poll-bound areas of Srinagar, Badgam, Islamabad, Kulgam, Bandipora and Kupwara to make the election drama a success. Besides 400 companies of paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force, 50,000 additional troops have been deployed in the territory for the conduct of the farcical elections.

The occupation authorities continue to place almost all Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Hakeem Abdur Rasheed, Bilal Siddiqi, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Hilal Ahmed War, Nisar Hussain Rathar, Muhammad Ashraf Laya and Qazi Yasir under house arrest or in detention.

It is worth mentioning here that 1,029 candidates are contesting the elections for 263 wards – 214 in Jammu and 49 in Valley – spread over a dozen districts of the territory. Of the 1,029 candidates, 881 are in the fray from the Jammu region and 148 from the Kashmir Valley. As many as 65 candidates have already been elected unopposed while 40 wards have seen no candidates.

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