Kashmir set for third round of elections amid tight security

November 29th, 2008 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Nov 29 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir is set to vote in the third round of the staggered polls to the state legislative assembly, as voters in five constituencies in the Kashmir Valley will exercise their franchise Sunday amid tight security.The five constituencies in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district have 341,004 voters, including 163,144 women.

Authorities said Saturday that fool-proof security arrangements were in place for Sunday’s poll.

“For the five assembly constituencies of Kupwara, Karnah, Lolab, Handwara and Langate all security and other arrangements have been finalised,” an official statement said here.

“In order to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in these constituencies, fool-proof security arrangements have been made and 11 zonal and 31 sectoral magistrates have been appointed to monitor election related matters,” the statement said.

There are 14 candidates in fray in Karnah constituency, 19 in Kupwara, 10 in Lolab, 13 in Handwara and 15 in Langate. The polling will start at 8 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

A district election officer said poll staff for the 480 polling stations, out of which 80 are “sensitive” and 200 “hyper-sensitive” because of the security situation, have already reached their destinations with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and poll materials.

In the first and second round of seven phase polls, at least 64 and 65 percent of electorate voted despite a boycott call by Muslim separatists.

The final phase of the elections in the troubled state will take place Dec 24.

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