By-polls day in disputed Kashmir: Ballots calm, bullets roar

5.84% votes cast out of 12, 61,395 till

Srinagar: Six civilian youths were killed and several others injured by forces on polling day in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir at Budgam district in clashes between Indian forces and protesters during the by-election for Srinagar parliamentary constituency.

Chief Electoral Officer, JK, Shantmanu told media that six civilians were killed in while dozens of them injured in Budgam as the polling was marred by violent clashes. Latest reports say that the death toll has reached to 9 and among the injured 5 are still in critical condition.

However, nearly 6.8 percent votes were cast out of 12, 61,395 votes in the constituency.

A senior police official in Srinagar told media that the dead youth have been identified as Faizan Ahmad and Muhammad Abbas of Dalwan, Pakherpora, Nisar Ahmad Mir of Ratsuna, Beerwa, Shabir Ahmad of Daulatpora, Chadoora, Adil Farooq Sheikh of Yarigund, Kawoosa, Akeel Ahmad Wani, Churmujroo, Beerwah.

Violent clashes also took place across Budgam district throughout the polling day as youth protested against the government, while election authorities had to shift more than 67 polling booths at several places. Clashes also erupted in Srinagar and Ganderbal assembly segments, particularly in Eidgah constituency and Tulmulla where authorities had to shift a number of polling stations to safer places and shut them.

The CEO said that re-polls would be held in those polling stations where polling was disturbed due to clashes and violence.

A police official told KNS that situation went worse in Budgam district only, while in Srinagar and Ganderbal the situation is “under control”.

He said 10 vehicles were burnt down, 14 Electronic Voting Machines were damaged and re-poll will be held at those places where polling could not be held.

At several polling booths in Budgam, police had to rescue the polling staff for safety as protesters attacked and ransacked the booths. A police official said that dozens of its personnel were injured during clashes with protesters during the day, particularly in Budgam.

Earlier, resistance camp had called for boycott of the by-polls. And following the killings of six youths in Budgam district, the separatists called for two-day shutdown-Monday and Tuesday- against these killings.

Meanwhile, 73784 electorate exercised franchise by 3.00 pm recording 5.84% voter turnout in by-elections for 2-Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency.

In Srinagar District, 2272 votes were polled in Hazratbal segment, 1740 in Khanyar, 1687 in Habba Kadal, 309 in Eidgah, 2854 in Zadibal, 2986 in Amira Kadal, 4279 in Sonwar and 4196 in Batamaloo assembly segment, recording 20323 votes that includes 12814 male and 7509 female voters.

In Budgam district, 568 votes were polled in Chadoora segment, in Budgam 10157, Beerwah 11200, Khansahib 8030 and Charar-Sharief 1521, aggregating to total of 31476 votes polled in the district, which include 24758 male and 6718 female voters.

In Ganderbal district, 21985 voters including 12846 male and 9139 female electorates cast their votes till 3.00 pm, the Kangan segment recorded 13989 and Ganderbal segment recorded 7996 votes polled.

Latest reports say that the death toll has reached to 9 and among the injured 5 are still in critical condition. (Agencies)

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