School & Store Burned Down, Petrol Bomb Hurled in Srinagar Market Ahead of Oct 24 J&K Elections

Ahead of the Jammu and Kashmir block development council elections on October 24, militants burnt down a Kulgam school and a provision store in Srinagar on Tuesday night.

A truck was also set ablaze in Pulwama while a petrol bomb was hurled at the Sabzi Mandi in Srinagar though no injuries were reported.

The developments came just a day ahead of the Jammu and Kashmir local body elections, the first after the Narendra Modi government scrapped the state’s special status and decided to divide it into two Union Territories: J&K and Ladakh. The process of the elections for the second tier of the Panchayati Raj system will be completed by November 5.

Chief electoral officer of Jammu and Kashmir Shailendra Kumar had said 26,629 panchs and sarpanchs are eligible to vote and contest for the post of BDC chairpersons.

The Congress has decided to boycott the polls to protest against the detention of its leaders and the “indifferent” attitude of the state administration.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir of the J&K Congress said stakeholders were not taken into consideration before taking any decision on the erstwhile state. “The Congress believes in strengthening of democratic institutions and it has never shied away from any polls. But today, we are compelled to take a decision to boycott the BDC polls due to the indifferent attitude of the state administration and the continued detention of senior party leaders in the valley,” said Mir, who himself was released from house arrest in Jammu recently.

The Valley has been in an unprecedented lockdown since August 5 when the Narendra Modi government scrapped provisions of the Article 370 of the Constitution.

Isolated incidents of grenades being lobbed have also been reported.

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