No poll boycott impact, 44 per cent votes polled in 10 segments

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Srinagar, Nov 17 (UNI) Rejecting the poll boycott call by the separatists, about 44 per cent voters cast their ballots in ten assembly constituencies in the first phase of seven-stage elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Barring an anti-poll protest by a group of few hundred people, who were chased away by the police at Bandipora, the polling remained by and large peaceful.

However, Security forces across the state have been put on maximum alert in view of the poll boycott call given by the Coordination Committee (CC), spearheading the agitation in Kashmir and the strike call by separatists.

Till 1400 hrs about 44 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the constituencies spread over Bandipora, Poonch, Leh and Kargil districts of the state.

Still a large number of voters, including women and first time voters, were standing in queues outside the polling booths set up in these constituencies.

Mendhar assembly segment recorded the highest 60 per cent polling followed by Poonch 52 per cent, Gurez 43 per cent, Surankote 40 per cent, Nobra 37 per cent, Zanaskar and Kargil 35 per cent each, Leh 33 per cent, Sonawari 28 per cent and Bandipora 25 per cent.

The spokesman said the polling began x x x picking up from para five of Dr 25'' Election J&K fourth lead polling''.

UNI BAS AKJ KP1654

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