Militant attacks fail to dampen rallying spirits

Militant attacks fail to dampen rallying spirits

The deadly militant attacks in the Kashmir Valley that killed at least 21 people and injured several others has failed to dampen the election fervour, with all major parties holding rallies as usual on Saturday.

Election campaigning continued ahead of the third phase of polling on December 9, particularly in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district and Baramulla district in the north.

Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed addressed a number of election rallies in Budgam, where he reiterated that political issues plaguing the subcontinent for decades, including that of Kashmir, “has to be resolved through peaceful means” so that the environment of hostility and armed conflict would be dispelled.

“Use of violence and bloodshed to achieve political objectives has neither helped in the past nor is it going to help in the future, except to bring misery to the people and tragedies for the families,” he said.

Similarly, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti addressed poll rallies in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Gulam Nabi Azad, along with state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz, addressed half a dozen election rallies in north Kashmir.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also addressed massive election rallies in Budgam, while Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shahnawaz Hussain conducted a campaign in south Kashmir’s Tral constituency, where two people were killed in a grenade attack on Friday.
However, a rally that was planned in the Uri town of Baramulla for Sunday has been cancelled.

Congress leader Taj Mohi-ud-Din, who is Health Minister in the outgoing government, had called the rally, but said it was called off out of respect for the people who died there in Friday’s attacks. But some sources told Deccan Herald that the rally was cancelled due to security concerns.

In an apparent move to invoke fear among the people, Pakistani militants attacked four places on Friday, including an Army camp in the border town of Uri, killing 11 security personnel, eight militants and two civilians.

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