Kashmiris defy boycott calls to cast their votes

Anantnag, Apr 30 : Defying the boycott call by the separatist faction of Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, residents came out in large numbers to cast their votes in Kashmir on Thursday.

While Srinagar wore a deserted look, in Anantnag residents thronged the polling booths from early morning to cast their votes with hopes of electing a government that would deliver on its promises.

"We want to elect a candidate who will help us and work for the upliftment and development of our region," said Umer Majeed, one of the early voters.

The separatists have called for a 50-hour shutdown in the valley, against the polls.

This is not the first time the separatists have given a call for poll boycott in Kashmir.

Tourists suffer hardship due to separatists’ shutdown call

Tourists suffer hardship due to separatists’ shutdown callSrinagar, April 29: Separatists’ shut down call in Kashmir has caused a lot of hardship to tourists visiting the valley from across the county and abroad here.

Apprehending trouble and ire of the separatist groups, almost all the shops and other commercial establishments in the market including restaurants have downed their shutters.

Tourists, in absence of proper and affordable modes of transport, have been deprived of visiting famous tourist spots in the city and other places in the valley.

Talks with separatists after polls, says Farooq Abdulaah

Talks with separatists after polls, says Farooq AbdulaahSrinagar, Apr 28: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said the state government will facilitate talks between the Central Government and separatists after general elections in the country are over.

Speaking to mediapersons here, Abdullah, who is the National Conference party''s candidate for the Srinagar-Budgam seat, said: "As I said earlier, we are committed to it. A new government will be formed after the elections, we will talk to them (separatists) and facilitate them to talk to the federal government."

Antony visits forward areas in J-K, lauds Army’s role

Antony visits forward areas in J-K, lauds Army’s roleSrinagar, Apr 27: Defence Minister A. K. Antony on Monday visited the forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir under the White Knight Corps, and said that the Army’s vigilance and proactive stance had ensured incident free elections in the state.

During his visit, Antony addressed the troops at the Raina Auditorium in Rajouri, where he lauded the role of the Indian Army in curbing infiltration and reducing the levels of insurgency.

PDP supporters protest against EC’s decision in J-K

PDP supporters protest against EC’s decision in J-KSrinagar, Apr 27: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters took to streets on Monday to protest against the cancellation of an Election Commission (EC) notification for holding bye-polls in the Hazratbal parliamentary constituency.

Chanting slogans against the National Conference-led state government and the EC, PDP activists marched through the streets of Srinagar, to voice their anger at the EC’s decision.

The supporters gathered outside the EC office and accused the commission of siding with the National Conference (NC) candidate.

One militant killed in Mendhar encounter

One militant killed in Mendhar encounterMendhar, Apr 27 : One militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Mendhar in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday morning.

According to sources, the encounter is still on.

The militant, who was killed in retaliatory fire, is yet to be identified. Two other militants escaped from a house in the area, but are still battling security forces.