Only 2% turnout recorded in Srinagar

No votes were cast in 27 out of 38 booths

Updated - April 14, 2017 12:04 am IST

Published - April 14, 2017 12:01 am IST - Srinagar

Face of fury:  A bus that was torched at a polling station in Budgam district of central Kashmir on Thursday.

Face of fury: A bus that was torched at a polling station in Budgam district of central Kashmir on Thursday.

Repolling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency’s 38 booths on Thursday registered only around 2% voter turnout, amid very tight security arrangements.

The polling process started at 6 a.m. in the volatile Budgam district where all these booths were located.

The trend became obvious in the first four hours when the turnout remained under 1%, with a trickle of voters heading to the booths.

A Budgam district administration official said that only 337 votes were cast out of 35,169 votes till 10 a.m.

A polling officer told The Hindu that the booths situated at Charar-e-Sharief, where widespread violence left four locals dead on April 9, saw only two votes being cast by 10 a.m.

No voting took place at 27 booths out of 38, said an official.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shantmanu said, “Only 709 votes were cast in the day.”

“Though polling was low, but I am happy that no major incident of clashes took place,” said Mr. Shantmanu.

Counting of votes will be undertaken on April 15.

Security cordon

The polling percentage of only 2.02% resulted in an insignificant push to the total poll percentage of 7.14% registered on April 9.

At least 50 additional companies were moved in to form a circle of security around the booths to prevent any attempt to capture the electronic voting machine (EVMs) or running down by stone-throwing youths.

The fresh polling was ordered for restive Budgam district’s Chadoora, Budgam, Beerwah, Chrar-e-Sharief and Khan Sahib assembly segments. Fresh violence reported at Nusrullah Pora and Beerwah where protesters clashed with the security forces manning the polling booths and the nearby vicinity after the voting process was over. The security forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters.

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