Youth spend time playing carrom, polling staff enjoy leisure time
Barely a few meters away from a polling station set up at Tiny Tots School in Srinagar’s Fateh Kadal area, Amir Ahmad, 20, along with his friends, was busy playing carrom. Ahmad and his friends, who were surrounded by a group of local residents, appeared completely unmindful of the highly-guarded polling booth as well as the urban local body elections in the Habba Kadal constituency Wednesday, throwing up enough indications about the poll mood around.
At 10.15 am, out of 10,092 voters registered in the polling register here, only five votes were cast in the polling station.The polling staff was engrossed in gossiping while forces, in large numbers, kept a close vigil in and around the school premises.
“When we started playing carrom, we didn’t see anybody voting here. People as usual have boycotted the polls,” Amir said.
Inside the polling station, employees assigned with poll duties said that out of nine polling booths set up inside the school, six recorded zero percent voting till 10.15 am.
“Few voters cast their votes early in the morning. We are waiting but it seems people have boycotted the polls as nobody is coming forward to vote,” said a poll staff member.
This polling station was established near the residence of two slain militant commanders.
Around 500 meters from this school, in the interiors of Fateh Kadal locality, two polling booths were set up in the municipal ward number 34. Here too, not a single vote was cast till 10.30 am.
When asked about the voting figures, the poll staff said: “Other than some journalists, nobody came here.”
A tour through the lanes and by-lanes of Fateh Kadal revealed that people preferred to stay inside their homes. The roads were largely deserted, except for the presence of forces personnel.