NEW DELHI (Agencies) - Indian-occupied Kashmir will vote for a new state administration in a seven-stage poll set to begin next month and conclude in late December, the Indian Election Commission said Sunday. "The commission is under a constitutional mandate to hold (a) general election to constitute the new legislative assembly in the state" by January 10, 2009, the body said in a statement. Polling starts on November 17 and all votes will be counted on December 28, the statement said. Kashmir has been under governor's rule since July following the collapse of the state government over a land row that triggered a revival of anti-India demonstrations in the region. Meanwhile, Kashmiri leaders have rejected the elections. "Elections can never be a solution to the issue of Kashmir," APHC leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said. "They can never be a substitute for our right to self-determination. Our fight for freedom will continue." APHC and other Kashmiri groups said they will boycott the elections which they termed a 'futile exercise'. "Hurriyat has nothing to do with this meaningless exercise and would ask the people to stay away from it as well," Mirwaiz. The Hurriyat leader said rather than focusing on the real issue - the settlement of Kashmir, India was trying to give an impression that Kashmir was an 'administrative' problem, which could be fixed by holding elections. "Instead of hitting at the root of the problem, they (Centre) are only hacking off the leaves. Elections have been held in the past and these will be held in future with no results... it is futile exercise unless and until Kashmir issue is resolved," the Mirwaiz said. He said the issue can be resolved only through a composite dialogue process between India and Pakistan in which Kashmiri leadership should be involved. Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Mohammad Yaseen Malik said his group will canvass actively for a poll boycott in the state. "It is the democratic right of the people whether to vote or not," Malik said. "Elections are not a solution to the issue ... these have failed in the past and will fail in future as well," he added. Meanwhile, Indian troops shot dead three suspects during a gunbattle along the Line of Control in Kashmir, the Indian army said Sunday.