‘Boycott’ call had good takers in Afzal Guroo’s, Geelani’s villages
Sopore: A meager four percent of the voters in Sopore cast their vote in the first phase of Parliamentary election for Baramulla seat in North Kashmir.
Of the 1,11,928 voters registered in Sopore, only 4,864 voters-3,209 male and 1,655 female turned up as per official figures. That way, Sopore recorded a turnout of 4.35 percent.
Reports said that residents of Sopore’s Jagir Ghat and Dooru villages, native villages of Muhammad Afzal Guroo and Syed Ali shah Geelani remained away from the poll exercise.
In Jagir Ghat, where Guroo was born, very few villagers were seen walking towards the polling stations. While men huddled outside shops, women preferred to stay inside their homes. Only media men and security personnel were seen going past the polling stations.
“Why should we vote and for what? We never cast our vote and I thank my villagers for staying away from the poll process,” one of the relatives of Guroo said.
“Afzal was like my son and how can I muster courage to cast vote? I can’t betray him,” a neighbor of Guroo said.
Similar scenes were witnessed at Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s native village, Dooru.
Scores of youth were seen outside one of polling booths stationed at Panchayat Ghar in Dooru.
The villagers which mostly included youth started protesting and later on also engaged in stone pelting causing minor injury to a paramilitary trooper.
“We don’t vote here in this village and we will not vote in future as well. We support the boycott call issued by Syed Ali Geelani,” one of the youth said.
Reports said that the poling staff waited for whole day for voters at three polling booths of the village where not even a single vote was polled out of total 2,718 votes.
In Sopore town minor stone pelting was reported outside many polling booths in Dooru and Jamia Qadeem. An employee, Bashir Ahmad Ganaie sustained injury in one such incident and was rushed to SDH Sopore.
Brath Kalam village also recorded zero turnout, reports said.
The village is believed to be a militant hotbed in the area.
“We have held a number of funerals of our young men in past. How can we vote?” a local asked.