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Kashmir Votes, and India Hails It as Normalcy in a Dominated Region

Votes were counted on Tuesday in the first local elections in Kashmir since the Indian government waged a harsh political and security crackdown in the restive region last year. Officials hailed a solid turnout as a sign that democracy has been restored, but little in Kashmir feels normal….

The election… was called suddenly, giving parties only a week to register candidates before the first round of the eight-phase polling began in November, political leaders said. 

Many prominent Kashmiri politicians and public figures remain in detention with no recourse, or under threat. And hundreds of thousands of political workers for India’s Hindu-nationalist ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, traveled through the region carrying banners and signs, hoping to make a strong showing in a mostly Muslim territory where it has traditionally been loathed….