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Hurriyat asks people to boycott LS polls

April 23, 2009 19:52 IST

Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq, chairman of the moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference on Thursday asked people to boycott the parliamentary election in Jammu and Kashmir.

After two days of hectic deliberations of its executive and general council, Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq addressed a media conference in Srinagar on Thursday afternoon asking people to stay away from the elections.

"The APHC has rejected the polls and considers them as a non-issue because they have not resulted in any solution of the Kashmir problem," Mirwaiz told media persons at the Raj Bagh headquarters of the APHC.

"Elections have no locus standi to address the Kashmir issue. These cannot serve as an alternative for the right of self-determination, and that is why we ask people to stay away from them," the Mirwaiz said.

Replying a question whether the Hurriyat was asking the people to boycott them, Mirwaiz said, "When we reject the elections and ask the people to stay away from them, it means we are asking them to boycott the polls."

A controversy was triggered in Srinagar last week by the statement of Moulvi Abbas Ansari, a senior Hurriyat leader who refused to issue a poll boycott call which brought the conglomerate under fire from various separatist groups and Muzaffarabad-based militant conglomerate, the United Jehad Council.

The statement also triggered violent protests on Friday last during which the effigy of Abbas Ansari was torched.

The hardliner APHC group headed by senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani has already called for a poll boycott.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar