A day after the killing of three villagers, including a Congress sarpanch in South Kashmir’s Tral area, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday cancelled his visit to the town.
Azad, along with senior Congress leaders, was forced to cancel his visit due to security reasons. Azad was scheduled to address a public meeting in the village where a sarpanch was gunned down for seeking votes for the National Conference candidate. Sources said the slain Congress sarpanch was responsible for making arrangements for Azad’s rally.
Meanwhile, posters of Hizbul Mujahideen surfaced in Tral town and its adjacent villages asking people to stay away from the polls and election rallies.
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“We have to drive India out of Kashmir and as a first step towards that is that people should stay away from the polls,’’ warned Hizbul Mujahideen posters. The posters written in Urdu also asked people to stay away from the rallies of mainstream politicians otherwise they will face dire consequences.
“We warn sarpanches, panches and political workers not to take part in the election process otherwise they will be responsible for the own deeds,’’ warned the posters.
South Kashmi’s Anantnag seat will go to polls on Thursday. However, the killing of four civilians, including two sarpanches and a village headman, in the past one week has created panic in Tral and its neighbourhoods.
Officials said that the Union Health Minister was to address a public rally in the neighbourhood of the Batagund village where Congress sarpanch Ghulam Nabi Mir and his son were gunned down by militants.
J&K CM Omar Abdullah condemned the killing and said the decision of poll boycott should be based on conviction not fear.