By-polls were conducted today at 38 polling stations for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency. However, it was as good as no elections at all since the voter turnout was a meager 2 percent. It implies that only 2 people out of every 100 eligible voters came out to vote. Officials said that fear of violence may be preventing people from coming out. It may be recalled that the polls on Sunday had attracted widespread violence, in which, eight stone pelters were killed when security forces opened fire on them. The mob was trying to damage property and stop the election process. Another reason for the low voter turnout is the boycott of polls announced by separatists in the valley. People may be afraid to go against the decisions made by local political groups, which is why they may be staying away from polls.
As compared to Sunday’s polls, the by-polls were largely peaceful. Only one incident of stone-pelting was witnessed in Soibagh area in Budgam district. However, this group of miscreants was chased away by security forces. There was another minor incident in Badran, where PDP and National Congress workers clashed with each other over accusations of bogus meeting. However, the matter was resolved soon.