Polling picks up after dull start in 10 Assy segment in J

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Srinagar, Nov 17 (UNI) Polling started gathering momentum after it began on a very dull note in ten Assembly seats in the first of seven-phase elections in Jammu and Kashmir amid unprecedented security arrangments.

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 strike call by separatists.

An official spokesman said polling began in all 1086 polling stations set up in these constituencies at 0800 hrs despite bitting cold.

He said despite minus 8 degree temperature, people came out in large numbers to cast their votes in four assembly segments of Ladakh region.

Long queues could be seen outside the polling booths even before the start of the polling. At some booths, women had outnumbered men.

More than 150 votes were polled during the first half-an-hour in about a dozen polling station in Sonawari assembly segment in Bandipora district.

At Nadihal in the same constituency, about 100 people were standing in a que outside a polling station set up in a school. So far 30 votes had polled there, he said adding people were also coming out in large number to cast their votes in Gurez and Bandipora constituencies.

Similarly, in three assembly segments of Poonch voters could be seen waiting for their turn near the polling stations.

A polling station x x x Eds: pl pick up from line 1 para 1 of DR 4 'Election-J&K Lead polling two Srinagar.' UNI BAS ASM SB RN0947

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