Shutdown, protests mar first phase of ULB polls in Kashmir

Shutdown, protests mar first phase of ULB polls in Kashmir
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Srinagar: Amidst a complete shutdown, sporadic protests broke out in parts of the Valley, as the first phase of the municipal and local body polls started today on a dull note across the poll bound areas of the Valley.

Heeding to the call of joint resistance leadership (JRL), all shops, business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed in Srinagar, the capital city and other major towns of the Valley in response to the call given by JRL against the conduct of municipal and local body polls in the state, witnesses told Kashmir Reader.

The shutdown witnessed intensified security arrangements in the volatile areas of this summer capital, especially the old city considered to be the bastion of senior resistance leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

In poll bound areas of Bandipora and Srinagar, clashes broke out this afternoon when the voting for the urban local body polls was underway.

A BJP candidate was injured in Bandipora after attacked by angry youth him near Dachigam polling booth. Adil Ahmad Buhru, who is contesting from Ward-15, sustained injuries in his head.

However, police refuted that the BJP leader was either attacked or injured.

In Srinagar’s Bagh-e-Mehtab, groups of youth hit the streets and staged anti-election protest. The protesters clashed with the government forces, deployed in the area for smooth conduct of polls.

According to officials, Anantnag recorded 5percent polling till 1:00 pm, Budgam 3 %, Bandipora 2%, Baramulla 3%, Srinagar 3.5% and Kupwara recorded highest voter turnout at 18%

Meanwhile, internet service was snapped in parts of south Kashmir, while in rest of the Valley the bandwidth of internet was reduced to 2G in wake of the elections.

The first phase of municipal and local body elections started this morning. 1204 candidates are in fray in the first phase of polls.