Electioneering Ends For Second Phase Of Polls In J&K

21 November 2008

Srinagar: Electioneering for the second phase of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir slated for November 23, ended on a violent note this evening with security forces opening fire on protesters in Ganderbal that left seven injured. One person identified as Hilal Ahmad Dar was hit by a bullet in the leg while six others were wounded in the teargas shelling and baton charge by security forces in Ganderbal town shortly after Friday prayers, official sources said. Dar was injured when Personal Security Officer (PSO) of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic party (Nationalist) candidate Farooq Ahmad opened fire as a group of people, shouting anti-election slogans, charged towards the candidate who was passing through the area, they said. They said Protests were held at several places in Ganderbal on the call of the separatist coordination committee against the election process. Security forces used tear smoke shells and batons to chase away the protesters who also turned violent and resorted to stone pelting. In the ensuing clashes six persons were injured. In the second phase of assembly elections in the state on November 23 a total of six segments spread over two districts will go to polls. A record number of 81 candidates are in the fray in the six constituencies of Ganderbal, Kangan in recently carved out Ganderbal district and Nowshera, Kalakote, Rajouri and Darhal in Rajouri district that witnessed high pitched campaigning contrary to the first phase of polls on November 17. Candidates were seen making a last minute effort to woo the voters as they went door-to-door, asking for votes in their favour as the campaign ended around 4 PM.