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Panchayat polls: JRL calls for shutdown on Nov 17.

The Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik Wednesday called for a complete shutdown on November 17 (Saturday) against commencement of panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement, the JRL said that the people will “once again show their complete rejection and disassociation with the election drama being enacted by New Delhi in the name of panchayat elections.”

“A complete protest shutdown across Kashmir will be observed on November 17, the day panchayat elections commence. People must send a message to the rulers that they have nothing to do with the sham process being foisted on them to undermine Kashmir’s disputed status and the need to resolve it,” the statement said, adding: “People will also observe a complete protest strike in poll-bound areas on the days of elections: November 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 1, 4, 8, and 11.”

The JRL reiterated that holding elections in Kashmir “under the shadow of gun and by force is a meaningless exercise and nothing but another attempt to mislead the people of India and the world.”

“This exercise becomes all the more ridiculous as their own pro-India regional political parties decide to stay away from this farcical exercise,” the JRL statement said, adding that the “recent massive rejection of urban local body polls by more than 95 percent people of Kashmir has sent a crystal clear message to New Delhi as to where the people of Kashmir stand and what they want.”

“But the government of India’s arrogance of military might and forcible control over J&K makes them blind to it and they continue to thrust this sham of so-called elections on the people to further harass and torment them,” the JRL said. “Enacting election drama in presence of lakhs of forces can befool no one and the world community knows the reality of democracy in Kashmir.”

The JRL said that people of Kashmir “know well that any sort of participation in the polls held under the Indian constitution amounts to sell out on the tremendous sacrifices of thousands of people, especially the youth. So there is no question of any participation (in these polls),” they said, reiterating that “people’s demand and slogan is: No to all elections, only right to self-determination.”

The executive members of High Court Bar Association also decided to endorse shutdown call given by JRL for 17 November against holding of Panchayat Polls in the state

“The decsion was taken to impress upon world community that holding of any kind of elections in the state are not a solution to the long pestering problem of Kashmir and/or a substitute for the holding of a plebiscite, which has been promised to the people of the state by the UN Security Council in terms of its various resolutions, which have been accepted and acknowledged by both India and Pakistan before the world fora,” said the Bar statement.

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