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Polling begins on a peaceful note in Kashmir

Written by: Staff

Baramulla, Apr 24 : Polling in three Assembly constituencies of Pattan, Rafiabad and Sangrama began on a peaceful note here this morning amid thick security blanket despite militant outfits and separatist groups urging the people to boycott polls.

Long queues could be seen outside the polling stations much before the time.

Polling has been peaceful and no untoward incident has been reported so far, the officials said.

All the polling booths have been declared hyper-sensitive and sensitive.

This is for the first time after 1990 that voters in large number had assembled outside the polling booths much before the actual time, Abdul Aziz, who had come to cast his vote, said at a polling station at Pattan.

Significantly, no separatist group has called for a general strike unlike in the past though almost all the secessionist organisations have called upon the people to boycott the byelections.

Personnel from paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir police have been deployed at all polling booths to thwart any militant attempt to disrupt the process.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) K Rajinder Kumar told UNI that this is for the first time that no security personnel were brought from outside the Kashmir valley for the election duty as had been done in the past.

He said because of overall improvement in the situation across the state, we have mobilised additional forces within the Valley itself after making some adjustments.

''The mobilisation is in addition to the forces already deployed for counter-insurgency operations in these areas,'' he added.


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