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SRINAGAR — Jammu & Kashmir’s State Election Commission (SEC) has ordered a re-poll in two seats of District Development Council in north Kashmir, saying that two female candidates contesting polls in them have failed to prove their Indian citizenship and have illegally entered into India.

Both these candidates are from Pakistan administered Kashmir and are married to Kashmiris, who crossed the Line of Control for arms training but returned to live life peacefully after Omar Abdullah-led government announced policy for return of such youth in 2010.

In two separate orders, the State Election Authority of Jammu & Kashmir concluded that each contesting candidate in Drugmulla in Kupwara and Hajin-A in Bandipora don’t have Indian citizenship and have mentioned wrong information in the FORM-6 for enrolling themselves as voters.

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The SEC, in its order, said the nomination secured by two candidates to contest the election by making false declarations about the citizenship of India, a fundamental requirement under electoral laws, was illegal, improper, and liable for automatic rejection ab-initio.

It said the polling process undertaken in these segments has been totally vitiated.

The re-poll, according to SEC, shall be held by redrawing the list of candidates and election must be conducted under the applicable election rules/guidelines, on a date to be notified by the Election Authority, through a separate order.

Kupwara

The Election Authority maintained that Soomia Sadaf failed to provide any valid document to justify her citizenship in India and had entered wrong information regarding her “Place of Birth” in Election Commission of India’s FORM-6, required for registration as an elector.

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Soomia Sadaf was contesting polls from Drugmulla DDC seat of Kupwara.

The State Election Commission had received a complaint regarding the status of citizenship of Soomia, wherein it was alleged, among other things, that she had entered India through an illegal route and she suppressed vital facts regarding her citizenship.

Bandipora

The Election Authority maintained that it was found that Shazia Begum, contesting candidate of Hajin-A in Bandipora couldn’t substantially prove her citizenship of India and has therefore entered wrong information in the declaration regarding being a citizen of India during the inclusion of FORM-6, deemed to be included in Panchayat electoral roll before 2019.

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