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Nearly 15% turnout in Anantnag

May 05, 2004 09:11 IST
Last Updated: May 05, 2004 18:33 IST

Nearly 15% of the electorate on Wednesday cast their vote for the Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag constituency, defying militant threats and attempts to disrupt the polls.

The turnout was marginally above the 1999 election figure, when 14.32% was recorded, but much less than the 24% polled in its 16 assembly segments in the 2002 election.

Ruling People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti is locked in a triangular contest with Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary M Y Tarigami and National Conference's Mehboob Baig.

Militants targeted several polling stations. Bank manager Ghulum Hassan was killed and two civilians were injured when militants launched a grenade attack outside a polling station at the Anantnag Government Women's College.

They hurled a grenade at a polling station in Bijbehara, the hometown of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, three hours after he, his wife and daughter voted at the booth. Fifteen persons, including five security personnel and four polling staff, were injured in the attack.

The militant outfit Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Polling began on a very dull note across the constituency but picked up later in the day.

Four security personnel were injured in a grenade attack on a polling station in Tral, Pulwama district. Militants fired a grenade towards the polling station at Lam, but it exploded in the compound. Three Border Security Force personnel and a policeman were injured in the attack.

A BSF jawan was injured when militants hurled a grenade on a polling booth at Sofshalibugh, Kokernag.

Militants fired at a polling booth at Lisser, in Kokernag assembly segment. The polling station was deserted after the panic triggered by the incident.

Militants also carried out grenade attacks on polling stations at Akhran-Qazigund, Larnoo-Kokernag and Zainapora. The militants also opened fire on the Larnoo polling station.

Noorabad assembly segment recorded the highest voter turnout of 38%, followed by 30% in Dooru and 25% in Shangus segments. The six assembly segments in Pulwama district recorded a low turnout, with Shopian registering 15%, Tral and Pampore about two, Rajpora 10 and Pulwama five.

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