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Shutdown in Ganderbal as Omar files papers

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National Conference president Omar Abdulla after filing his nomination papers in Ganderbal district on Monday.
National Conference president Omar Abdulla after filing his nomination papers in Ganderbal district on Monday.

Shujaat Bukhari

He was defeated in the constituency in the 2002 elections

SRINAGAR: National Conference president Omar Abdullah on Monday filed nomination for the Ganderbal Assembly constituency. But, the entire Ganderbal town observed a complete shutdown to protest against his filing papers and the people raised pro-freedom slogans.

Accompanied by a host of leaders, Mr. Abdullah filed papers two days before the nomination process ends. The constituency goes to the polls in the second phase on November 23. Earlier, another senior NC leader Mian Altaf Ahmad filed his papers for the Kangan constituency.

“Fully prepared”

Talking to journalists, the NC president said the people had rejected his party in the 2002 elections. This was an important lesson. But “now we have come fully prepared and I hope this time they will make me win.”

“The National Conference wants to uplift Ganderbal in every sphere. We want to give Ganderbal premier status not only in the State but also in the entire country,” he said.

Mr. Abdullah fought the Assembly elections for the first time in 2002 from this constituency but was defeated by the People’s Democratic Party’s Qazi Afzal.

Downplaying the strike and protests in the area, Mr. Abdullah said this had been happening here from the times of the late Sheikh Abdullah, his grandfather. The “trouble is in Beehama and Duderhama only [the main areas of town], the rest of Ganderbal is calm.” He said these incidents would have no bearing on the elections.

Authorities deployed a sizeable number of police and paramilitary troops in the area. Several people were injured when the police chased away some protesters by bursting tear-gas shells.


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