People In Rural Areas Of Baramulla Defy Separatists' Poll Boycott Call

7 May 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
M Aamir Khan

Uri: People from various villages in Baramulla district today defied the poll boycott call given by separatists and came out in large numbers to cast their votes for the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat. Main Chandanwari market wore a deserted look as shops remained shut for most part of the morning. However, the locals said it had nothing to do with the poll boycott. 'No, there is no shutdown here. Today shops will open after people vote. Most of us from Khadinyar vote,' said Mohammad Rafiq, a tailor. Areas like Uranbowa, Noorkhah, Rampur and Gingle saw a decent rush of voters since early morning, unlike Sopore and Pattan towns that witnessed near boycott. Long queues of voters could particularly be witnessed at Gingle, where people thronged to polling booths since early morning. They were undeterred by the explosion at Palhalan and shutdown at various other places in the constituency. 'We do not even have the time to take tea,' said a poll official. A security man outside the Gingle polling booth was also busy frisking voters. 'This part of Baramulla is completely peaceful. Even though we are very busy, I am glad that I am not dealing with stone throwing youth on ground,' he said with a smile. Despite coming out in large numbers to vote, several people of the area were found complaining of 'little development' in the last five years. 'For the last five years we have been neglected and I came to vote for change,' said Ayaz Ahmad, a first time voter from Noorkhah.