Voting ends in Kashmir's fourth phase

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Jammu/Srinagar, Dec 14: Voting ended peacefully on Sunday in the fourth phase of the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Over 50 percent turnout was recorded in the 18 constituencies when balloting ended at 4 pm, an official said.

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However, the overall percentage is likely to be more as final figures are yet to be received from all polling stations, the poll official told IANS.

Authorities said the poll process ended peacefully without any incident of separatist violence.

In Amira Kadal constituency in Srinagar district, witnesses accused Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Hina Bhat of misbehaving with a polling officer inside a poll station.

Angry workers of the National Conference started shouting slogans against Bhat and the BJP after news of the incident spread in the area.

Additional security was rushed to escort the BJP candidate out of the polling station as a large number of agitating National Conference supporters gathered there.

As many as 440 companies of paramilitary forces were deployed Sunday across the constituencies that went to the polls, in addition to state police personnel.

Some high profile candidates were Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, and ministers Ali Muhammad Sagar, G.A. Mir and Peerzada Sayeed.

Outgoing Speaker Mubarak Gul also contested from Idgah constituency in Srinagar that went to the polls Sunday.

The fifth and final phase of the elections will be held Dec 20. Votes will be counted Dec 23.

IANS

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