Presiding Officer among 7 injured in clashes as EVMs go faulty

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Pendhar, J&K, Nov 17 (UNI) At least seven people, including a Presiding Officer, were injured in a clash between the workers of two political parties during polling near here in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The workers of National Conference (NC) and People's Democratic Party (PDP) came to blows when both the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were declared faulty at the Kota polling station (No 79) near Mendhar town, official sources said.

A group of voters went berserk, when came to know that both the EVMs were faulty at the polling booth, and severely thrashed the Presiding Officer, namely Shakeel Ahmed, sources said.

Meanwhile, another group of people also entered into the scuffle in which two more people were injured.

Shakeel Ahmed was shifted to Sub-District Hospital, Mendhar, for treatment.

The voting at the polling station, which remained suspended after the incident, restarted when new EVMs were provided to the Polling Station.

Four people were injured in clash at another polling booth (No 64-D) in the nearby Darana village of Mendhar tehsil, official sources said.

The injured were identified as Mohammad Rafiq, Mohammad Riyaz, Mohammad Ikhaliq and Haji Falad Khan.

An incident of people damaging an EVM at polling station Suralia (No 76-B) and polling station Naroal (No-36-P) were also reported in Mendhar constituency.

Three constituencies of Poonch-Haveli, Surankote and Mendhar in Poonch district of the Jammu region went to polls today in the first phase of the seven-phase Assembly elections in the state.

While polling stations in Mendhar constituency witnessed sporadic incidents of violence, voting remained peaceful in other two constituencies of Poonch district, official sources said.

UNI VJ PD GC1714

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