Srinagar, April 23 (IANS) Voting picked up gradually on Tuesday in rural and hilly areas of the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir while it remained very low in urban centres.
A total of 4.2 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Anantnag till 10 a.m.
Queues of voters were seen in Shangus, Kokernag, Dooru and Pahalgam where voters came out in good numbers to exercise their democratic right.
But the voters were very few in towns like Anantnag and Bijbehara where people came out in only ones and twos.
Security forces used tear smoke to disperse stone-pelters who tried to dissuade voters from reaching some polling stations.
“Except for a few stray incidents of stone pelting by miscreants, the election process has remained peaceful during the first three hours in the constituency,” an official said.
“The real challenge in this militancy affected constituency is to ensure that the poll process passes off peacefully.”
The security forces were present in large numbers to ensure a violence free election.
Polling began at 7 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m.
Security forces have been deployed along roads and hillside areas overlooking the polling stations to prevent militants from disrupting the poll process.
Mobile Internet facility and train services have been suspended for the day.
Very few people were seen at the 714 polling stations set up for 523,566 voters in six polling segments of Bijbehara, Pahalgam, Shangus, Anantnag, Kokernag and Dooru.
Authorities have set up 26 polling stations outside the Kashmir Valley for Kashmiri Pandit migrant voters.
Of these, 21 are in Jammu, four in Delhi and one in Udhampur district.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of PDP, state Congress President Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference, Sofi Yusuf of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Chowdhury Zafar Ali of the People’s Conference are in the fray in Anantnag.