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6 killed when parliamentary byelection disrupted by protesters-police clashes in Indian-controlled Kashmir

6 killed when parliamentary byelection disrupted by protesters-police clashes in Indian-controlled KashmirState and paramilitary police fired bullets and shotgun pellets as thousands of protesters who were shouting slogans against Indian rule charged into voting booths in Budgam district near the main city of Srinagar.

This is reported by The Guardian.

“Violent protests happened at many places in Budgam. Protesters damaged and snatched EVMs [electronic voting machines] at some places,” Shantmanu, the state’s chief electoral officer who uses one name.

“It was not a good day for all of us. Six civilians were killed and 70 were wounded.”

Hospital sources in Srinagar said that many of the injured had gunshot wounds.

Shantmanu said more than 100 government personnel, including police and paramilitary officers injured in the clashes.

Two of the civilian deaths occurred in the Charare-e-Sharif area of Budgam when the paramilitary border security force fired at protesters, he said.

Another person was killed in the Beerwah area when paramilitary officers opened fire at acrowd after people started throwing stones.

Three more were killed in the day-long clashes, with two of them succumbing to multiple pellet injuries from the shotguns which Indian paramilitary forces use in Kashmir for crowd control.

Polling had to be halted in more than dozen places amid a call for a boycott of the byelection by top Kashmiri separatist leaders opposed to Indian rule.

Only 6.5%of voters turned out to cast their ballot, Shantmanu said, the lowest ever participation recorded in any election in the disputed territory.
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