Geelani demands cancellation of Anantnag bypoll


Srinagar, Apr 20: Chairman of Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani Thursday demanded cancellation of next month's bye-election in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, saying he fears escalation of violence.
"Authorities need to desist from their egoistic approach and cancel bye-election (Anantnag Lok Sabha seat) in South Kashmir as there are apprehensions of escalation in terrifying incidents in the Valley," Geelani said in a statement here.
Initially scheduled for April 12, the Election Commission postponed the Anantnag seat bypoll to May 25 after widespread violence during bye-election in Srinagar parliamentary constituency on April 9 resulted in the death of nine persons while scores of others were injured. It also registered the lowest ever 7.1 per cent turnout.
"Youths feel dejected and a 'do or die' like situation is evolving due to the stubborn attitude of Indian authorities," Geelani said.
The Hurriyat leader demanded a "referendum" to seek people's mandate with respect to the "political destiny" of state