14.5 percent voting in Srinagar (Fourth Lead)

May 7th, 2009 - 4:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, May 7 (IANS) Voting in the prestigious Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir began on a dull note but picked up as the day warmed, recording a 14.5 percent turnout by 2 p.m. Thursday.
The two assembly constituencies of Kangan and Charar-e-Sharief recorded 39 percent and 36 percent voting, respectively, in the first seven hours, topping the 15 assembly segments in this Lok Sabha constituency.

Farooq Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and the state’s ruling National Conference candidate, is pitted against Moulvi Iftekhar Hussain Ansari of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The polling percentage for other assembly-constituency segments are: Gandarbal 25 percent, Khansahib 20 percent, Hazratbal 7 percent, Zadibal 9 percent, Idgah 5 percent, Khanyar 4 percent, Habba Kadal 1.5 percent, Amira Kadal 3.5 percent, Sonawar 18 percent, Batmaloo 9 percent, Chadoora 18 percent, Badgam 18 percent, and Veerbah 14 percent.

A by-election is also being held here for the Sonawar assembly seat, which was vacated earlier this year by Abdullah prior to seeking election to the Rajya Sabha.

The National Conference’s Yasin Shah and PDP’s Muhammad Ashraf Mir are the main contestants for this seat.

Earlier in the day, unidentified people hurled a petrol bomb at a polling station in Umer Colony of Lal Bazar locality. The explosion did not cause any damage.

Stone-pelting anti-poll protesters were also chased away by security forces at a few places.

Separatist leaders have called for a 50-hour shutdown and a poll boycott.

All the senior separatist leaders including hardliner Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the chairman of the so-called moderate Hurriyat group, and Muhammad Yasin Malik, the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) have been placed under house arrest.

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