The authorities have decided not to publicise the details of candidates contesting in elections to urban local bodies in volatile pockets in the Kashmir valley “due to security reasons,” evoking sharp reactions from political parties.“Lack of transparency will only bring disrepute to the institution of democracy. It seems former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s legacy is being reversed. Mr. Vaypayee, as prime minister, ensured fair elections in J&K and allowed peoples’ representatives to come up. This saw a new hope emerging among people, who started looking up to elections as a credible exercise. In the process, mainstream political parties, too, gained an important space despite Kashmir’s complex situation,” senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Nayeem Akhtar told The Hindu. He described the situation in J&K as “worse than the 1990s.” “It’s getting worse than 1990s, with non-locals being fielded as candidates in many wards. They may have visited the area for the first time on the day of the nominations. The way the elections are held goes against tenets of democracy,” said Mr. Akhtar.All major regional parties, including the PDP and the National Conference, have decided to boycott polls, leaving the Jammu & Kashmir People’s Conference (J&KPC), the Congress and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) as major players in the fray. “The credibility of the poll process has been badly affected. No candidate has filed a nomination in 177 wards. In 215 wards, candidates have been declared [elected] unopposed. It speaks volumes about the power-thirsty BJP imposing [on the] elections. What will be the credibility of these polls, when even finding a candidate to contest has become difficult?” asked Congress vice president and MLC G.N. Monga .Details concealed Contrary to J&K Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra’s directive to returning officers “to paste details of contesting candidates on notice boards”, scores of wards in south and north Kashmir have decided against it. “Candidates have pleaded with us that their lives will be in danger in case their details are made public. In many wards, we decided against publicising it,” a south Kashmir-based official told The Hindu. In the wake of militant threats, several independent candidates on Thursday held a press conference in Srinagar. They claimed they were “not getting any response from the government over security. The property of two candidates have been attacked by unknown men in the past 24 hours in the Valley with petrol bombs.”However, Additional Director General Police-Law and Order (ADGP) Muneer Ahmad Khan said many contestants have been put up in hired hotels, guarded by heavy contingents of police and paramilitary forces. About 3,000 candidates are in the fray across J&K for elections to 1,145 wards across 79 municipal bodies, starting October 8.
The iPhone 6 Plus catch fire. Image Credit: Daily Read List Advertisement An Atlanta man literally had his “pants on fire” when the iPhone 6 Plus inside his pocket caught fire.The accident occurred the afternoon of Dec. 1 while the man, Rocky, was loading up his vehicle at the Home Depot parking lot. Suddenly, he felt a burning sensation and noticed smoke emerging from the front pocket of his pants.He reacted quickly and stripped off his pants, that’s when he realized the iPhone 6 Plus was on fire. As he turned his head away, he could only hope that the phone would not explode. – Advertisement – “It burned pretty much my whole front pocket, burned my boxers, started to burn my leg, but I had moved it away in time so it wouldn’t burn me,” said Rocky.[related-posts]Luckily, he escaped from his pants with no serious injury and emerged unscathed, barring the embarrassment of being almost half-naked in a public place. It is humiliating having to take off your pants in a parking lot, after all.Further investigation into what caused the iPhone 6 Plus bursting into flames led to the discovery that the device was refurbished and sold by a third-party to his carrier.Whether the network operator advertised the handset as a new unit or refurbished at the time of purchase is unclear. Interestingly, Rocky does not want to sue anybody for the incident and merely wants an apology. The refurbishing company already sent Rocky a replacement unit.So what causes smartphones to combust, you wonder? Usually, it is an unstable and faulty battery. Apart from physical deformity, one way to damage batteries is by using third-party and low-quality chargers.Apple is reportedly looking into the matter and investigating what may have caused the iPhone 6 Plus to catch fire.[TECH TIMES]