Heavy turnout in J&K Panachayat polls upsets Hizb
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 18:14
New Delhi: The heavy turnout in the just-concluded Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir has apparently upset the pro-Pakistan terror group Hizbul Mujahideen which has issued a statement saying that separatism and participation in elections cannot go side by side.

The participation of people, which was 79.25 per cent in the Kashmir Valley, has left not only the terror group but also the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference, which wished the people had stayed indoors.

Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin has said in an interview to a local news agency in Kashmir that people there must shed the "cloak of duality". Sacrifices and participation in elections can't go side by side.

The separatist groups, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had asked people to disassociate from Panchayat elections and terror groups like Lashker-e-Taiba had pasted posters in Sopore town. However, the heavy turnout left Geelani and separatist groups red-faced.

Salahuddin, however, was candid in admitting that there was a need for reworking strategy as frequent strike calls was a wrong policy.

"We have to devise a proper strategy. I had once said that we can't achieve our goal in case we force our people to remain indoors for 24 hours, unfortunately, some vested interests manipulated my statement and burnt my effigy," he was quoted as having said.

He also accused Hurriyat conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq's faction of not making any serious attempt to have a united separatist forum.


First Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 18:14

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