The separatists in Jammu and Kashmir have asked people to boycott the panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir and have called for a shutdown on 17 November when the first phase of polling for these elections will be held.

Top separatist leaders Syed Alishah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik made the appeal of Wednesday when they described this as “yet another election drama”.

They also urged the people to observe a shutdown during the subsequent phases of polling. The panchayat elections will be held in nine phases.

Meanwhile, enthusiasm is being witnessed among the people for the grassroots elections. As many as 1382 candidates filed their nomination papers for 531 posts slots sarpanch and 5201 for 4140 posts of panch in the areas that will go to polls in the fourth phase of the elections.