Srinagar, October 10 : In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the High Court Bar Association (HCBA), has decided to defer its polls because the administration failed to grant them the required permission.
Secretary of the HCBA Election Commission, Mudassir Gulzar Vakil, in an interview in Srinagar said, “We had approached the Srinagar administration for permission to conduct the polls for office-bearers on October 5. The date of polling was October 8. However, we did not receive any order from the administration, which is tantamount to denial of permission. Polls have been cancelled for time being.”
The district administration had sought the opinion of the Chief Medical Officer, Srinagar, whether such polls were feasible during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the letter forwarded to the Srinagar administration, the HCBA promised that “all standard operating procedures (SOPs) as advised would be meticulously followed”.
Gulzar Vakil said, “We are clueless about the denial, as traders’ bodies were allowed to conduct elections”.
The candidates, who were contesting for different posts, had done election campaigning and canvassing in the Valley courts.
The HCBA, a body of over 1,200 lawyers, is a very influential civil society organization of the occupied territory that had challenged in the Indian Supreme Court the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A by Modi government in 2019. Its president Mian Abdul Qayoom was among thousands of Kashmiris who were arrested in the crackdown launched before and after the August 05, 2019 decision to revoke special status of IIOJK by Modi regime. He was released in July, this year.
Mian Qayoom, who has served the HCBA for over two decades, decided not to contest the polls this year.