Monday: As per PTI reports, the Election Commission was advised against conducting by-elections for Srinagar and Anantnag this month by the Union Home Ministry. The statement came in a day after violence broke out in the state capital. A letter had been issued by the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, after the announcement of polling dates on March 10, saying that the atmosphere in the state was not conducive for elections, and asking the poll monitoring body to delay it for a few months.
“The Election Commission overruled MHA’s reservations and went ahead. The results are for all to see,” a ministry official told a news channel.
The ministry had also alleged that the EC did not consult it before fixing the bye-election dates. However, the Election Commission reportedly ignored the advice and went ahead with the polling on Sunday, where at least eight people died and more than 300 people were injured during clashes between civilians and security forces. The violence continued on Monday when unidentified people set ablaze a school that had been used as a polling station in Shopian.
Meanwhile, separatist groups have called for a two-day shutdown in the state starting Monday. They had earlier called for a boycott of the bye-polls in protest against the turmoil in the state.