Thousands line up to vote in Indian Kashmir

2014-11-25 14:15
Kashmiris stand in queue to cast their votes outside a polling station during the first phase of voting to the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly elections in Lar. (Dar Yasin, AP)

Kashmiris stand in queue to cast their votes outside a polling station during the first phase of voting to the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly elections in Lar. (Dar Yasin, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Srinagar - Thousands of voters lined up on Tuesday to cast their votes in state elections in Indian Kashmir amid a boycott call by Muslim separatist groups who reject India's sovereignty over the disputed Himalayan region.

Voter turnout was moderate early on Tuesday with the temperatures low and skies overcast. Thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police officers patrolled near polling stations as voting opened in villages and towns.

Polling was brisk in some places and long lines of voters stretched around polling booths north of the main city of Srinagar.

The elections are to be held in five phases through 23 December in a staggered process that allows the government to deploy thousands of troops to prevent any outbreak of violence.

Pro-India Kashmiri parties say the elections will boost development and help address civic issues, while separatists say the polls are an illegitimate exercise under military occupation.

In recent days, authorities have detained hundreds of separatist leaders and activists who called for a boycott of the elections.

The multistage voting will elect a local government, a chief minister who will serve as the state's top official and a council of ministers from the pro-India parties participating in the elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party has been campaigning heavily, and for the first time is hoping to win a sizeable number of seats in India's only Muslim-majority state.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both the countries claim it in its entirety.

Nearly a dozen rebel groups have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989, seeking independence for Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan. About 68 000 people have been killed in the conflict.

State elections were also being held on Tuesday in the central Indian state of Jharkhand.

Read more on:    narendra modi  |  india

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.