Srinagar By-Polls: This is what happened last Sunday!

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Srinagar: As the videos of Kashmir’s volatile situation continue to go viral on social networking sites, The Kashmir Pulse had access to few exclusive videos of last Sunday’s Srinagar by-polls in Srinagar-Budgam constituency.

One of the clips, which has already gone viral and triggered debates, shows mixed reaction from the youth towards the security forces. Some of the youth are seen protecting the CRPF men while a few others heckled and abused them.

People are seen shouting pro-freedom slogans while the CRPF men exit the polling station after facing protests. A youth tries to attack the security forces but faces stiff resistance from the people.

However, the security forces were heckled and abused on their way as the crowd started getting bigger and bigger. But there were some youth who tried their best to protect the forces.

The restrain of the CRPF men is appreciable, however if we monitor closely and listen to the voices in the video carefully, apart from a few youth who manhandled the forces, people can be heard shouting in Kashmiri against beating them. It is clearly seen in the video that the youth in general were peacefully making their safe exit from the spot.

The anger shown by the youth in the video is seen in the backdrop of eight civilian killings on the same day at the hands of security forces. The national media has appreciated the restraint shown by the forces but analysts like Lt Gen BS Jaswal seem to suggest the other way round – youth have shown restraint as they outnumbered the forces and could have easily done something more violent.

A vehicle was, however, put on fire after security forces left the polling booth. The vehicle was first damaged and then gutted in flames by the protesters.

It is pertinent to mention that the polling staff was attacked by the youth and the electronic voting machines were looted by the protesters supporting election boycott. The infuriated cops started firing on protesters resulting in injuries to more than six youth.

Eight people were reported to have been killed and more than 300 injured on last Sunday with just 7.14% voting registered, lowest since 1996 as majority of the people decided to stay away from the polls.

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