Kashmir (J&K): Just 8.3 per cent polling was recorded in the first-phase of the urban local body polls in militancy-wracked Kashmir Valley while the border district of Kargil recorded the highest polling percentage of 78 per cent, officials said. 52 per cent was recorded in Leh. Polling in 83 wards of the valley began at 7 am and ended at 4 pm amidst tight security. Also Read - Secret Tunnel Used to Infiltrate Terrorists From Pakistan Detected in J&K's Kathua | Watch
“Only 7,057 voters of the 84,692 eligible persons turned up to vote in the wards which went to polls Monday. The polling was by and large peaceful,” the official told news agency PTI. While polling in the first phase of the polls took place peacefully in Gandhi Nagar, R.S. Pura, Bishnah, Arnia, Khour, Jurian, Akhnoor, Nowshera, Surankote and Kalakote areas, the story of the Valley was starkly different. Also Read - 'Can't Even Kiss My Wife', Says Farooq Abdullah, Laments The Pandemic
As two parties — the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party — boycotted the Jammu and Kashmir Local Body Polls, most of the voters kept away from the balloting centres amid a separatist-called shutdown. Some youths clashed with security forces in Bagh-e-Mehtab in Srinagar but officials said the situation was quickly brought under control. No militancy related incident was reported in the state. Mobile Internet services were suspended in all south Kashmir districts. Also Read - BRO Constructs 110-feet Bailey Bridge at Kela Morh on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in Record Time
In the outskirts of Jammu, voters queued up before polling stations from 7 AM and the voting has picked up in most of the areas. The Jammu and Kashmir civic polls will be held in four phases. In north Kashmir, the Kupwara Municipal Committee recorded a high voter turnout of 36.6 per cent, while 27.8 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise at wards of the Handwara Municipal Committee.
Union minister Jitendra Singh cast his vote at a polling station in Trikuta Nagar. He criticised the National Conference and the PDP for boycotting these polls. Meanwhile, a presiding officer was suspended at Aloosa in Bandipora district for allowing a woman to accompany a voter to the voting counter. Counting of the J&K local body polls will take place on October 20.