Expressing distress over the death of civilians in firing by security forces, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said that she was pained that most of them were teenagers who were yet to understand the intricacies of the issues. Peaceful means and not violence was the way ahead, the J&K chief minister said.
“I am distressed to know that many of those killed were young or teenagers who were yet to understand the intricacies of the issues,” Mehbooba said in an official statement here.
The chief minister said she has consistently held that peaceful means and not violence are the only way ahead in getting state out of the present difficulties.
“This is the time that people of all shades of opinion in the state should come together and help in stopping this cycle of violence and bloodshed which unfortunately has plagued Jammu and Kashmir for three decades now,” she said.
Meanwhile, former chief minister and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said he had never seen this level of violence in elections in Kashmir.
“Have contested six elections over 20 years and have never seen his kind of violence in elections in Kashmir. 5PM-polling booths close for an election that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons,” Omar said in a series of Tweets.
He said it was a terrible day and paid condolences to the families of the deceased. “6 dead, many more injured. What a terrible day. Condolences to the families of the deceased and prayers for the injured,” he added.
Later, another person died due to the firing taking the toll to seven on a day when violence marred polling to the Srinagar Lok Sabha bye-elections. Several persons were injured in firing by security forces on rampaging mobs in various parts of the constituency. The bypoll to the high profile seat saw an all-time low turnout of 7.14 per cent.