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Voters thrashed in Baramulla for defying separatist call
A day after voters in the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency exercised their franchise, some of them were thrashed for defying the separatist call for boycott of the elections, district officials said.
Some voters were reportedly thrashed yesterday in Sopore and Baramulla towns by vigilante groups, who were scanning the fingers of passersby for the indelible ink marked at the time of voting, they said.
The voters are facing difficult times even as Chief Minister Omar Abdullah warned of action against those who terrorise the voters.
“First things first – the gangs moving around trying to terrorise those who voted will not be tolerated,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
He said action will be taken against anyone found trying to terrorise voters and the police have been instructed accordingly “can’t have freedom to choose not to vote without allowing people who want to vote a similar choice,” he added.
The security forces have increased patrolling in sensitive areas following these incidents in Baramulla district, officials said.
Meanwhile, hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who had issued the boycott call, appealed to people to maintain calm and not indulge in group clashes.
“We are brothers and clashes should not be allowed to happen at any cost. Who has voted and who has not, that stage is over now,” Geelani said.
He said that by indulging in clashes, “we will be implementing the designs of Government of India”.
“I make a fervent appeal to people especially the youth to create a conducive atmosphere and not allow any civil strife in the valley,” Geelani said.