The day before

Srinagar, 23 December 2008

Srinagar

Tomorrow the last round of state assembly elections are taking place in and around Srinagar, as well as in 13 constituencies in Jammu and Samba districts. The Kashmir Observer reports on little enthusiasm among the local population, mainly due to the intensive presence of the the military, anti-election protests and recurrent instances of violence.

Yesterday, the authorities once again inforced restrictions as anti-election protesters had thrown stones and brick on security forces. Unrest has also been reported in Sopore town in Baramulla, where suspected militants shot dead two police men. So far noone has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

As this election is the greatest opportunity for Kashmiris to gain political agency, it is a shame that it is wasted on violence and curfews. Acknowledging the voices for independence, democracy is currently the safest way to achieving justice and equality within the state.

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