A pathetic 7.5 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Monday until 2 p.m. in the second and penultimate phase of voting in the troubled Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials said 6.7 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 1 p.m. in Kulgam district where four segments of Kulgam, Noorabad, Devsar and Homshalibugh went to vote.
Over 11,000 voters each came out to vote in Noorabad and Devsar segments while in Homshalibugh and Kulgam segments a total of 591 and 1,313 voters respectively voted till 2 p.m., an official said.
Clashes occurred between stone pelters trying to disrupt the poll process and the security forces at four places in Kulgam district.
Security forces used pellet gunshots and tear smoke to disperse the stone pelters. Reports said four protesters sustained pellet injuries during these clashes.
Voting began at 7 a.m. in Kulgam district’s four Assembly segments — Noorabad, Devsar, Kulgam and Homshalibugh.
At the Laram polling station in Homshalibugh, voting was delayed for 40 minutes due to a faulty Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
A total of 433 polling stations have been set up at 244 locations.
There are 345,486 voters in the district. Twenty-one polling stations have been set up for over 3,000 migrants voters in Udhampur, Jammu and Delhi.
As a precaution, mobile Internet services have been suspended in the south Kashmir areas.
Train services between Baramulla and Banihal have also been cancelled.
There are 18 candidates in Anantnag but the main contest is between Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ghulam Ahmad Mir of Congress and Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Sofi Yusuf and the People’s Conference Choudhary Zafar Ali. In addition, a woman candidate, Ridwana Sanam, is contesting as an Independent.
For the first time in the electoral history of the state, a non-local, Shams Khwaja, a lawyer from Uttar Pradesh, is also in the race.
Voting will end at 4 p.m.