Srinagar, Nov 30 : Braving freezing temperatures and ignoring separatists' boycott call, voters came out in large numbers with an average 50-60 per cent turnout recorded in the third phase of the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir held amid unprecedented security on Sunday.
Kupwara District witnessed the highest turnout of 55 per cent.
Despite low to moderate turnout in the early hours due to the cold weather, serpentine queues soon appeared outside many polling stations as morning fog gave way to bright sunshine.
According to an official spokesperson, Karnah constituency located along the border recorded the second highest turnout of 52.79 per cent followed by Lolab at 43 per cent.
He said the high voter-turnout is a clear rejection of the boycott call given by separatist groups.
Over 10,000 additional security personnel besides state police have been deployed at 448 polling booths declared a' hyper sensitive'.
Polling of votes started amid curfew like restrictions at eight in the morning and closed at four in the afternoon. Tight security arrangements were made at all polling stations.
A complete shutdown was being observed across the Kashmir valley today. The Coordination Committee (an amalgam of Hurriyat, traders, employees. lawyers) had given the shutdown call against the elections.
Heavy deployment of security personnels had been made in Srinagar and other major towns of the valley to prevent any untoward incident in view of a call given by the separatist and the coordination committee.
Almost all the 448 polling booths have been put under 'hypersensitive' and 'sensitive' categories.
Electioneering has intensified for the 18 Assembly seats in Baramulla, Budgam, Reasi and Udhampur districts where polling will be held on December 7 in the fourth phase.
Earlier, two phases of the seven phased elections have been successfully concluded with active participation of the people.
Despite the separatists' call for the election boycott the first phase of the elections recorded 64 per cent participation.
In the first four phases, the number of candidates showed a marked increase this time as compared to last time. In the Kashmir division the number has gone up to more than double. Meanwhile, high-pitched campaigning is going on peacefully for the fourth and fifth phase of elections.