Days Before Srinagar By-Polls, School Marked Voting Station Set On Fire

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Days Before Srinagar By-Polls, School Marked Voting Station Set On Fire

Security has been stepped up in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the parliamentary by-polls. (File)


Srinagar:  A school building in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district, which was set to be a polling station for tomorrow's parliamentary by-election, was set on fire last evening. The area is part of the Srinagar parliamentary constituency.

Police said unidentified people tried to burn the government school building in Yaripora village of Budgam district. " The fire was immediately controlled and the building has suffered minor damages," said a senior police officer.

Srinagar and Anantnag in south Kashmir will hold parliamentary by-elections tomorrow. National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah, 79, is contesting from Srinagar and is pitted against the PDP's Nazir Khan.

With tensions ahead of the polls, security has been stepped up in the state. Jammu and Kashmir is on high alert and separatists have called for a boycott and have asked people to stage protests on the voting day.

About two weeks back, state minister Farooq Andrabi's house was attacked by a group of heavily-armed terrorists in Dooru in Anantnag district. The ruling People's Democratic Party or PDP leader was not at home, but two policemen were injured in the attack. The terrorists escaped with four rifles.

In the aftermath of the recent unrest in Kashmir, the campaign for the by-elections was a low-key one. Political parties held fewer election rallies and instead, relied on smaller meetings to reach out to the electorate.

The PDP won the Srinagar seat in the 2014 general elections - it was the second time since 1977 that the NC had lost the seat - but the PDP lawmaker Tariq Hamid Karra resigned the seat to protest alleged brutalities against Kashmiri protesters. He recently joined the Congress.

Yesterday, which was the last day of campaigning, election authorities reviewed the preparedness for tomorrow's polling.
 

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