Hizbul threat to polls
26 June 2002
Jammu: In-the-run-up-to the coming Assembly elections in the state, Hizbul Mujahideen has started a poster campaign to dissuade people from taking part in political rallies. It also appealed to the state employees today not to participate in the the poll process. The outfit warned the elections would be sabotaged, “as the people of J&K did not sacrifice 85,000 lives just for elections, but to achieve the right of self-determination.” “Let the parties pleading for restoration of political negotiations with us make the Centre read the writings on wall and ask them to take concrete steps to find a permanent, viable and practicable solution to the Kashmir dispute”, a Hizbul spokesman said. He said India had launched a propaganda campaign against the indigenous character of the ongoing freedom movement in the state in an attempt to mislead the world. The successful attacks on Indian security forces by the militants were proof enough of its indigenous character which would be safeguarded at all costs by Hizbul, he said. The outfit has been resorting to poster campaign for poll boycott. People in south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Anantnag said Hizbul posters urge people to lay off from political rallies. One such poster was recovered from a slain Hizbul militant near Pulwama recently. “The Hizbul urges people of Kashmir not to take part in any political rallies,” the Urdu poster read. “Mujahideen have vowed to disrupt such rallies and severely punish the participants. We further want to clarify that elections or selections are no substitute to freedom, nor will we allow anyone to build his palace over the bodies of thousands of martyrs.” The Hizbul has issued warning to the Special Police Officers and the Village Defence Committee members of Bani area in Billwawar tehsil of Kathua district who are working with the police and security forces. “Since the ultras are losing local support, they want to unleash a reign of terror. Earlier they had issued similar warnings to the people, but they have so far proved ineffective”, police said. “But the ultras will be intensifying their attacks against security forces to thwart the election process.” The Hizbul militants have now embarked on a damage control exercise by trying to win the support of the local populace. Hizbul pamphlets, lying near a blast-site recently at Gool in Udhampur, requested people to avoid buses plying on the Gool- Dharmkund road, as they may be targeted.