Amid a moderate voter turn-out in North of Kashmir that went to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha Polls, the Hajin township saw empty polling booths, armed men in riot gears, deserted streets.
In Hajin township of Bandipora, Sources said, Out of 1800 votes, only 02 votes were polled in 03 polling stations, while in Sopore’s Brath Kalan which a home to 6 Local Militants, no vote was polled at all.
The family of Mudasir Rashid Parray alias Mudasir Billa in Hajin area in Hajin town in Bandipora choose to stay indoors and avoid the public glare. “We did not want to see people deceiving the blood of Mudasir, his teenage blood still is on the ground, how can they vote,” his father told The Kashmiriyat.
“We did not want people to run over the blood of our son, who sacrificed his life for the people of Kashmir, he was young, he was hopeful and had dreams, ours ended with him,” his father said.
Mudasir’s Family lives in a single room with heart patient mother Fareeda, father is a chronic patient, handicapped brother and a little sister. Fareeda his mother, is still in grief and Shock that her son has been killed.
“Mudasir was not my son only, but a hope, Lone bread earner who would also work as a labourer on part time basis to help the family financially as my another son is handicapped,” Fareeda told The Kashmiriyat.
On 5th December last year, a daunting picture went Viral on Social Media in which 14 year old Cute Boy holding an AK-47 in one hand and and Knife in another. Mudasir a resident of Khankah Mohalla of Hajin town along with 16 year old Saqib Bilal had gone missing from home on 31 August this year after an encounter took place in Hajin town in which three Foreign Militants were Killed.
Five days after his picture went on social media holding with AK- 47, Mudasir Billa, who was the youngest Militant in he history of Armed struggle in Jammu Kashmir was killed during an encounter in Mujgund belt of Srinagar on a cold December night last year.
Fareeda while wailing said “Doudh haa cheey wyn praaczan lour’uy, waey, Baa karay ghoor ghooro. The milk is still on your lips, Let me cradle you, You are still to drink my milk, Let me cradle you.”
His sister, Maimoona in corner of his single room broke into tears, said that she was so happy that Mudasir will afford all her expenses and will fulfill her all dreams as her another brother is handicapped, but all dreams crashed the day Mudasir’s bullet ridden body reached her courtyard.
Mudasir was first arrested during during 2016 unrest in a Stone Pelting case and was lodged in a police station Hajin for over a week, he was later released after counselling. Mudasir, as per locals, joined Militant ranks after the killing of their close relative Abid Mir in Sopore who was killed in an encounter.
Here in Hajin, elections are being seen as a farce process, “They come and take votes from us, do nothing, and in a larger context, India is selling these votes as votes against the popular Freedom movement,” Abdul Rashid Bhat told The Kashmiriyat as he looked towards the gate of the an empty election booth.
Hajin township in North Kashmir, Out of 1800 votes, only 02 votes were polled in 03 polling stations during the first phase of seven phased Lok Sabha Election, though no protest was reported from the area, but people stayed indoors and choose to stay away from what they call “Bogus” elections.
In Tangmarg, Baramulla District, the mood is different, people are lining up outside the polling stations hiding their faces from cameras, which Abdu Rashid Shah, a local teacher believes is an element of shame attached to voting in Kashmir. “People hiding their faces from media and cameras says it all, they know it is shameful to vote here,” he thinks.
However, Ghulam Nabi Dar, a local shopper, who is a retired teacher feels otherwise, he feels it is unfair to link elections to Azadi. “I am more ‘Azadi Pasand’ than Hurriyat, but voting is for something else, Do i vote against Azadi? Logically.! No… There is no Azadi button on that voting machine, which i do not choose,” he says, adding that, narratives cannot be forced.
”we need to have a space for dialogue and various narratives and if we want to enforce our narratives on everyone, then i feel we are better off with India, because that is what is happening in India, popular narrative is thee only acceptable narrative, if we need freedom, we need to give freedom,” Abdul Rashid said while speaking to The Kashmiriyat.
Though the overall, voting percentage remained low, people did come out to vote defying the separatist calls, who remained low profile for the first during elections, in fact Militant leadership took a front on the boycott call. In Palhalan, 84 votes have been polled in 4 polling booths with total electorate of 3979 till 3 PM.
The overall voting percentage in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls 2019 in North Kashmir was recorded a total of 32 percent polling.