Srinagar: Only 7 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first two hours of re-polling for Budgam district in Srinagar parliamentary constituency on Thursday. Official sources said 221 votes were cast at 38 polling stations.

Voting began at 7 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m. Authorities have imposed restrictions on pedestrian and vehicular movement in the area.

“The restrictions have been imposed to prevent violence in the district,” authorities said.

For security reasons, polling stations at many places in the district have been clustered together in one building. Three hundred police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been deployed. Re-poll was ordered in 38 polling stations of Chadoora, Chrar-e-Sharief, Khansahib and Beerwah tehsils of Budgam district where violence had disrupted the process on Sunday.

Sunday’s polling at these polling stations was disrupted by massive violence in which eight civilians were killed in clashes with the security forces. Alarmed by the unprecedented violence, the Election Commission decided to defer the south Kashmir Anantnag Parliamentary seat by-poll to May 25. Voting in Anantnag constituency was otherwise scheduled for April 12.

Former chief minister and opposition National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah has challenged ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Nazir Ahmad Khan in the Srinagar-Budgam constituency. Counting of votes will be held on Saturday and the result would be known the same day.

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Free Press Journal