J&K separatists to boycott polls

Agence France Presse

Srinagar, January 11:

Four influential groups today called for a boycott of municipal elections to be held next month in Kashmir.

“Elections have always damaged the interests of Kashmiris,” a joint statement made by the leaders of three pro-independence groups, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, the Democratic Freedom Party and the Jamiat-e-Ahlihadees, and by the Kashmir Bar Association, said. “Hence we appeal to the people to boycott the municipal elections,” the statement said.

The separatist political parties say they oppose all elections organised by the Indian government, They say Kashmir is disputed territory and its status must be resolved before voting can be held. The polls for municipal corporations, councils and committees will take place in several phases, with Jammu and Srinagar voting on February 1. Voting in the southern districts of Poonch and Rajouri will be held on February 17.