Srinagar: Separatist leader Yasin Malik was on Thursday arrested by the state authorities for leading a campaign to boycott assembly elections scheduled to be held in Jammu and Kashmir next month.
Soon after the separatist leader was taken into preventive custody, his supporters gathered in large numbers on the streets of Srinagar shouting anti-government slogans.
Shortly after the announcement regarding the five-phased assembly polls in the state by the Election Commission, the Hurriyat leaders had called for boycotting the “so-called electoral exercise” and urged the voters to stay away from it.
Hurriyat leaders, including JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik, said the announcement of election is an insult to the injuries of the flood-affected people of the territory. The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the elections as a futile exercise and urged people to stay from the exercise.
He said, “It is unfortunate that polls were announced at the time when Kashmir is crying for help after the devastating floods.”
He added, the announcement “vindicates our stand that India wants to divert the attention of world community from the ground crises in Kashmir”. “Now all focus will be shifted to the election process with the flood victims again left to suffer. This is saddening and unfortunate that such process has again been initiated that has yielded nothing for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
He also slammed New Delhi for blocking the International aid to flood-hit Kashmir, saying the approach adopted proves its mindset vis-à-vis the flood victims.
JKLF chief Yasin Malik said, “Majority of people are in distress but these inhuman pro-India political parties want elections to grab power. They don’t care about people who lost shelter and lakhs of people are homeless. Polls are held during normalcy but entire Valley faced devastation due to recent floods.”
Hurriyet Conference Jammu and Kashmir (HCJK) led by Shabbir Ahmad Shah termed the announcement as the height of political opportunism.”
The Election Commission had decided to go ahead with farcical Assembly polls in flood-devastated Kashmir and announced a five-phased schedule between November 23 and December 20.