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62 per cent record voting in J

Written by: Staff
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Baramulla, Apr 24 (UNI) An unprecedented 62 per cent voting was recorded in today's by-elections to four Assembly constituencies of Bhaderwah, Pattan, Rafiabad and Sangrama in Jammu and Kashmir despite poll boycott call by several separatist groups, including both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference, official sources said.

However, Chief Electoral Officer B R Sharma said an estimated 60 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the polling in four constituencies.

The voting was marred by violence in only Pattan constituency of Baramulla district where at least 30 people were wounded in separate grenade and firing incidents.

However, the polling was by and large peaceful in the rest of three seats - Rafiabad and Sangrama in north Kashmir and Bhaderwah in Doda district of Jammu region.

The Chief Electoral Officer, giving constituency-wise break-up of the polling, said a record 76 voter turnout was witnessed in Bhaderwah constituency, from where Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is contesting, followed by 67 per cent in Rafiabad, 61 per cent in Pattan and 41 per cent in Sangrama.

The main opposition National Conference (NC) has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI), alleging that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) resorted to rigging and booth capturing at some places in Pattan and Rafiabad constituencies and demanded repoll in several polling stations.

A delayed report said seven voters were wounded in Duslipora village in Pattan area in a clash between supporters of the NC and the PDP.

Mr Sharma said X X X Eds here picking up from para five of DR 65 (ELECTION-KASHMIR-OVERALL LEAD POLLING).

UNI BAS-AG RL KP2208

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