Jailed Kashmiri politician records thumping victory against Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR: Jailed Kashmiri politician, Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias Engineer Rashid, on Tuesday recorded a thumping election victory in Baramulla parliamentary constituency of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), defeating former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah by a huge margin of votes.

“I think it’s time to accept the inevitable,” the former chief minister said, conceding defeat to Rashid, a trained engineer who joined politics in the late 2000s.

Abdullah wrote on X: “I don’t believe his victory will hasten his release from prison nor will the people of North Kashmir get the representation they have a right to but the voters have spoken and in a democracy that’s all that matters.”

Official results are yet to be declared.

Engineer Rashid, 57, a former lawmaker and chairperson of the local Awami Ittehad party, was arrested by the Indian Investigating Agency in 2019 on charges of alleged terror funding. Since then, he has been imprisoned in Tihar Jail, located in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Soon after he embarked on a political career in 2008, Rashid won twice the local elections to become a member of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly from Langate electoral constituency in IIOJK.

Rahullah Mehdi, Mian Altaf and Haji Hanifa Jan of National Conference party are leading in Srinagar, Anantnag and Ladakh constituencies while candidates of Bharatiya Janata Party are leading on two parliamentary seats in the Jammu region of IIOJK.

The vote counting in India’s general elections began Tuesday morning after the seven-phase mega polls concluded with millions casting their votes across the South Asian country.

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