J&K poll panel orders re-poll in 2 DDC seats as candidates were PoK residents

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SRINAGAR: The Jammu &


State Election Commission ordered a re-poll in two district development council seats in north Kashmir because the elected female contestants were residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In two separate orders, the

State Election Authority

of Jammu & Kashmir concluded that each contesting candidate in Drugmulla (


) and Hajin-A in Bandipora don’t have Indian


and have provided incorrect information in Form 6, meant for their enrolment as voters.
The SEC order said the nominations secured by the two candidates to contest the election by making false declarations about their citizenship was illegal, improper, and liable for automatic rejection ab initio. It said the polling process undertaken in these segments had been totally vitiated.
The re-poll, according to SEC, shall be held by redrawing the list of candidates and the election must be conducted under applicable election rules/ guidelines on a date to be notified by the election authority through a separate order.
One Soomia Sadaf had contested from Drugmulla DDC seat, Kupwara. The state poll panel had received a complaint regarding Soomia’s citizenship status that alleged, among other things, that she had entered India via an illegal route, and that she had suppressed vital facts regarding her citizenship. Similarly, the election authority maintained that it was found that another woman, Shazia Begum, had contesting DDC polls from Hajin-A in Bandipora and couldn’t substantially prove her Indian citizenship. It said she had entered incorrect information in the declaration regarding being an Indian citizen in Form 6.
Both women married Kashmiri militants in


and entered this part of J&K when former CM

Omar Abdullah

allowed Kashmiri militants stuck in PoK to return in 2011.
Hundreds of Kashmiri militants had returned home with families they had raised in PoK.

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