Three CRPF personnel injured after terrorists open fire

Large groups of anti-election protesters occupied polling stations at Hardushiva near the troubled North Kashmir town of Sopore, raising fear of violence ahead of polling in the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday.

Terrorists opened fire on a Central Reserve Police Force team engaged in pre-election patrolling in Sopore, injuring three personnel.

Police sources told The Hindu that the occupation came amid several clashes between mobs of stone-throwing protesters at Warpora at Rafiabad and Nadihal in Sopore.

The Kupwara police were attacked by mobs in the town’s bazaar, seriously injuring constable Azam Khan.

Nalin Prabhat, the CRPF’s Special Inspector-General in charge of operations, said patrols had responded to the attacks by initiating search operations against the perpetrators.

Large-scale street battles between protesters and the police were seen in the earlier phases of elections in the Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies. The violence led to low voter turnouts in several pockets such as Tral and Shopian.

Firebombs were thrown at a polling station at Chatipora near Rafiabad.

Protesters also threw stones at polling staff and the police at Dardpora, near Lolab, police sources said.

Mobs attacked a police post in the area earlier this year, after seven Pakistani terrorists were shot dead while crossing the Line of Control.