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India election

Security clampdown in Srinagar during anti-poll strike

Article published on the 2009-04-29 Latest update 2009-04-29 12:02 TU

A driver stopped at a security barricade in Srinagar(Photo: Reuters)

A driver stopped at a security barricade in Srinagar
(Photo: Reuters)

Indian police and paramilitary forces are patrolling the deserted streets of Kashmir state's summer capital, Srinagar, in an attempt to prevent more protests against the country's general election. Twenty people were injured in demonstrations throughout the city overnight.

Troops patrolled the deserted streets of Srinagar, as a five-day general strike against the general election entered its third day. Voting is due to take place in the Kashmir valley on Thursday but opponents of Delhi's rule of the Muslim-majority state have called for a strike and a boycott.

The most powerful armed group in the area, Hizbul Mujahadeen, has declared that anyone who casts a ballot will be considered a "traitor".

Two earlier stages in Jammu, the Hindu-majority part of the state, have already taken place peacefully.

Eleven other states or parts of states are due to vote tomorrow, including:

  • the business capital, Mumbai
  • Uttar Pradesh, the state which sends the most representatives to parliament, and which is left-wing dominated
  • West Bengal
  • rural Karnataka

Another state to vote will be Gujarat. On Monday India's supreme Court ordered an enquiry into the role of Gujarat's Chief Minister, Narendra Moji, in anti-Muslim riots in 2002. Modi is in the running to be the next leader of the right-wing BJP.