New Delhi: At a time when the Election Commission (EC) is trying to spread awareness and inviting maximum people to vote for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, terrorist outfits in the Kashmir valley have threatened people. Don’t vote or face the gun, is the message from terrorists.

Separate audio messages of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo and chief of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, Zakir Musa surfaced on social media urging Kashmiris to boycott the election just a few days ahead of the biggest electoral process of the country. The terrorists in their message took names of several Kashmiri politicians and called them “puppets of Delhi”.

Understanding how voting will help in forming a stronger government, Hizb commander Naikoo, who is on the run, expressed his disappointment over people’s participation in election rallies. He said anyone who casts a vote will “strengthen India’s hold on Jammu and Kashmir” and that the voters are “gaddar (traitors).” 

Threatening the people of Kashmir, Naikoo in the audio says outfits like his have been at war with the people who participate in the election process, and the war will continue.

Security agencies have not verified the authenticity of the audio yet. However, police claim the terrorists have always boycotted polls. They don’t want people of the Valley to participate in this democratic process.

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In the 15-minute-54-second-long audio message, Naikoo says his issue is not development but the Kashmir dispute, which India is not ready to accept. Politicians promise to resolve the Kashmir issue but have failed since 1947. “No matter which party the person belongs to or what ideology, voting will not solve our problems,” Naikoo said.

Taking a dig at Farooq Abdullah of JKNC, Mehbooba Mufti of JKPDP and Sajjad Lone of JKPC, Naikoo termed them “Indian agents” and said that pro-India politicians from Jammu and Kashmir “speak the language of New Delhi when in power, but speak your language (of Kashmiri people) when out of power.”

Naikoo mentioned Sheikh Rasheed and Shah Faesal by their names and asked them not to make a fool of Kashmiris. 
Naikoo questioned Shah Faesal, leader of the newly floated JK People’s Movement, “Why are you (Shah Faesal) trying to become Kashmir’s second Sheikh Abdullah? Why are you on a mission to legitimize mainstream politics in Jammu and Kashmir?” He also accused Faesal and his party colleague Shehla Rashid of sowing the seeds of confusion in the minds of the people in Kashmir.

“You will cause confusion. Shah Faesal has made a sacrifice by resigning as IAS officer, but this is all a trap like we use mouse trap in our homes to trap a mouse. The gullible will fall for this. The truth is that Faesal was not content with his salary of one lakh rupee a month, it is his greed for power that has made him join politics, not sacrifice,” Naikoo said in his long audio message.

He said that both Faesal and Rashid were on a mission “to deceive the Kashmiri nation”. Faesal has said that his party is not contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha election but will be taking part in the Assembly election in the state.

Questioning Faesal and Rashid’s decision to join electoral politics, Naikoo says, “I have no regrets about Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah, but you (Faesal) and Shehla are educated. I will leave the weapons and join you if you can prove to me, through the history of Kashmir and Quran, that I am wrong. But if I prove that you are wrong, I will not ask you to join me, but instead, request you to not support Indian politics.”

Naikoo, a former school teacher-turned-militant, belongs to Kashmir’s Pulwama region.

Zakir Musa, former chief of terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, has asked the people of Kashmir to stay away from the poll too — in another purported audio clip. “There are people who will try to lure you and ask for your votes. It is kufr (infidelity) to participate in the polls, whether in India or in the claimed country of God (Pakistan),” Musa is heard saying.