Ahead of Lok Sabha elections in Srinagar, Hizbul Mujahideen posters have appeared in the old city threatening attacks on policemen and politicians, besides asking voters to stay away from polling.
“Beware. If you vote, you will bear the consequences,” read the posters. Written on a Hizbul Mujahideen letterhead, the pamphlets do not name any Hizbul commander. “We are issuing a last warning to the over ground workers of PDP and NC that they should desist (from it)”.
The posters warn attacks on polling stations, asking people not to this election. “We would not tolerate it that some conscienceless people will vote of these Indian agencies (mainstream political parties) or participate in their election campaigning,” the posters said. “We warn such people for the last time that don’t force us to spray bullets”. Srinagar will go to polls on April 30.
The militant outfit further said: “Our movement has come to stage were we are constrained to leave our defensive approach and to adopt an offensive approach… We have decided that whosoever is a threat to our movement, may that be the local police, Indian army, a politician or for that matter somebody our own, we are announcing a war against him.”
Police said they are not sure whether the posters really have been pasted by Hizbul Mujahideen or it is mischief.
The pamphlets have come up in several parts of the separatist stronghold of downtown Srinagar and days after violence marred the polls for Anantnag constituency. The voter turnout in Anantnag was 28 per cent after militants shot dead a sarpanch, his son and a village head in two villages of Tral in Pulwama just days ahead of the scheduled polls. The voter turnout in Pulwama was only 6.3 per cent.
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Hizbul targets Farooq rallies, 10 wounded
As Srinagar goes to polls on Wednesday, militants targeted National Conference president Farooq Abdullah rallies in Srinagar and Magam. At least 10 people were wounded in the “twin grenade” attacks by the Hizbul Mujahideen.
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that violent forces will not be allowed to succeed. “While I have no doubt that an effort will be made to derail the electoral process these violent forces will not be allowed to succeed,” he tweeted soon after the explosions. “What’s the point of issuing a poll boycott call if you can’t terrorise people in to obeying it!!!!”
The first explosion took place at Srinagar’s Khanyar neighbourhood when the Union Minister was addressing a public rally. The second explosion rocked Magam in central Kashmir, hours before Farooq was to address a rally there, injuring more than 10 people.
When Farooq was addressing the people at Khanyar, a loud explosion was heard. Sources say a grenade was thrown towards the venue of the rally, but missed its target. Omar, however, tweeted: “There was NO blast at the venue of Dr Abdullah’s election rally in Srinagar. There was a sound that was heard in the distance.”
“The election rally continues without disturbance & the police are working to ascertain the source of the noise that was heard,” he said.
Despite the blast, the rally continued at the venue without any hiccup. Farooq said: “Even if they throw thousands of grenades, Farooq Abdullah will neither get scared nor will turn back”.