Kashmiris are observing a complete shutdown against municipal and panchayat election drama in Occupied Kashmir on Monday.
Call for shutdown has been given by Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik and supported by other organizations, including High Court Bar Association.
First of the four-phase sham polls is being held today while the other phases will be held on 10th, 13th and 16th of this month.
Strict curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in the Valley.
According to Indian daily Hindu, forty thousand (40,000) additional security personnel have been deployed in Kulgam, Anantnag, Budgam, Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara areas, where first phase of the sham polls is taking place today. It may be added that these towns are already heavily militarized.
Bullet-proof bunkers have been set up on all main roads across the Valley to stop Kashmiris from staging protests.
All senior Hurriyet leadership and activists have been detained or placed under house arrest to prevent them from running anti-polls campaign.
In a statement, Hurriyet Forum chief Mirwaiz Omar Farooq said election is a drama. A massive crackdown has been launched on our supporters to thrust the so-called polls on people who have already rejected this military exercise.
Daily Hindu said the mood in three wards in Srinagar Hyderpora, Rawalpora and Zakura was reflected in the fact that no public campaign was carried out by any of the eight candidates, whose details have been kept anonymous by the authorities for security reasons.
Various Sikh bodies including Sikh Intellectuals Circle, International Sikh Federation and Sikh Students Federation have already announced boycott of the elections.