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'Security Forces Not Allowing People to Vote': Mehbooba Alleges Rigging in J&K's DDC Elections

File photo of PDP leader and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

File photo of PDP leader and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Polling for the fifth phase of the District Development Council elections in the UT is underway as polling for 37 DDC seats -- 17 in the Kashmir division and 20 in the Jammu division -- began at 7am.

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM and People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday alleged rigging in the fifth phase of the District Development Council (DDC) elections and said that security forces have cordoned Matribugh in Shopian and not allowing people to come out to vote.

“Security forces have cordoned Matribugh in Shopian and are not allowing people to come out to vote under the pretext of inputs about the presence of militants. In a brazen display of power, armed forces are being used to rig this election and favour a particular party,” Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.

Polling for the fifth phase of the District Development Council elections in the UT is underway as polling for 37 DDC seats — 17 in the Kashmir division and 20 in the Jammu division — began at 7am. Few people turned up at polling stations in the valley due to freezing weather conditions, officials said.

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The former J&K CM had claimed yesterday that she had been put under house arrest yet again, second straight day since Tuesday.

She had said in a tweet she was prevented from moving out of her Gupkar residence to meet families of a tribal community that are allegedly being evicted from forestlands. She criticised the government in a series of tweets, accusing it of illegally detaining her without providing any reason.

“Illegally detained today for the third time in less than a fortnight. Too much democracy indeed." “If my movements are curbed due to ‘security concerns’ then why are BJP ministers allowed to campaign freely in Kashmir while I’ve been asked to wait until the culmination of DDC elections?”

A total of 155 candidates, including 30 females, are in the fray for 17 DDC constituencies in the Kashmir division. In the Jammu division, 144 candidates, including 40 females, are in the fray for 20 constituencies. Polling is also being held for panch and sarpanch vacancies notified in the fifth phase. The polling will conclude at 2 pm.

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