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Militants storm stadium, attack poll rally in Srinagar

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | January 15, 2005 17:06 IST
Last Updated: January 15, 2005 20:37 IST

Srinagar on Saturday afternoon reverberated with gunfire as militants stormed the indoor stadium in the heart of the capital city and also attacked a civic poll rally.

Police said a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) sub-inspector was injured when two militants attacked the stadium. They reportedly took refuge in the passport office located in the stadium complex.

Security personnel rescued over a dozen employees trapped inside the premises. They have surrounded the entire area and put up floodlights to spot any suspicious movement.

The indoor sports stadium, presently occupied by CRPF personnel, is adjacent to the Bakshi Stadium, the venue of the main Republic Day function in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the second incident, one person was killed and 15 others, including the area station house officer (SHO), were injured when militants attacked a civic poll rally of the opposition National Conference at Zadibal in downtown Srinagar.

NC civic poll candidate Ghulam Ahmed Hakeem was returning home after filing his nomination papers with several supporters when the attack took place, a police officer said.

The injured were taken to the nearby Soura Medical Institute for treatment.

This is the first attack on a civic poll rally in Srinagar. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Civic polls are being held in the state after a gap of 27 years. Polling is scheduled for February 1. Various militant organisations and separatist groups have called for a poll boycott in Kashmir.

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