Parts of Srinagar, Ganderbal observe shutdown

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BJP candidate among several injured in stone pelting

Qasim Bazaz

Srinagar, Oct 16: A Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate was among several people injured in clashes here, as a shutdown called by joint resistance leadership (JRL) against the conduct of municipal and local body polls crippled life in parts of Srinagar and Ganderbal districts.
Reports said that clashes broke out in several parts of the city when government forces were returning to their camps after guarding polling booths and stations set up for the final phase of polls here.
Clashes broke out in Soura when youth hit the streets this morning and staged protests over the conduct of polls in the area, witnesses said. Protesters threw rocks at the government forces while the latter responded by bursting tear smoke shells. The clashes continued for several hours.
Forces also used tear gas canisters and chilli grenades to break up anti-poll demonstrations in Rainawari, Saida Kadal, Hazratbal, Brein, Illahibagh, Tailbel, Eidgah and other areas of the city.
At Rainawari, a civilian identified as Ghulam Hassan Sofi of Usmani colony Hawal was injured after being hit by a stone.
Earlier in the day, a BJP candidate came under attack of angry protesters in Nowshera area of the city, witnesses said. The candidate Shazia Khan escaped unhurt in the stone pelting; however her car was badly damaged by angry anti-poll protesters, witnesses said.
Stone pelting protests were also reported from Pattan town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, where government forces lobbed tear smoke shells after failing to disperse stone-pelting youth with batons.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in poll-bound areas of Srinagar, including Harwan, Nishat, Brein, Dalgate, Pantha chowk, Palapora, Tarabal, Kawadara, Hawal, Alamgari-Bazar Gilli-Kadal, Nowshara, Lal-Bazar, Botshah-Mohalla, Umer-Colony, Jogi-Lankar, Kathi-Darwaza, , Hazratbal, Tailbal, Habbak, Zakura, Soura, Buchpora, Ahmad-Nagar, where all shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic was off the roads in response to the call given by JRL.
Similar reports were received from Ganderbal district where a complete shutdown was observed on JRL call. (GNS)