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Hurriyat to boycott polls

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | February 16, 2004 17:55 IST

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference will not take part in the general election.

"Polls have so far failed to resolve the Kashmir issue," Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat said after the executive meeting of the amalgam in Srinagar on Monday.

He said the Hurriyat would pull out of the talks with the Centre if incidents like the one in Chattibandi Bandipore, where five civilians were killed during an operation, continued.

"We want the dialogue process to move forward but the human rights violations will have to stop," he said, adding, "the Centre has now issued directions to the security agencies and we want them implemented on the ground."

He said during the first round of talks some decisions were taken, "but none have been implemented".

He said the infighting in the People's Conference, part of the Hurriyat, was also discussed. On Saturday, the People's Conference's supreme council chairman Bilal Gani Lone had expelled his younger brother Sajjad as the chairman of the party.

Bhat said the Hurriyat had accepted Bilal Lone as the chairman of the party.

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