Campaign For Last Phase Of J&K Polls Ends Amid Violence

22 December 2008
The Hindu

Srinagar: Marred by anti-poll violence, campaigning for the seventh and final phase of elections for 21 seats of Jammu and Kashmir assembly spread over three districts concluded on Monday. Eight constituencies of Srinagar district along with 13 assembly constituencies of Jammu and Samba districts are going to polls in the final phase on December 24. A total of 393 candidates including 151 independents and 31 women candidates are in fray for the 21 segments in Jammu, Srinagar and Samba districts. In Srinagar, former chief minister and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah, who is contesting from Hazratbal and Sonawar constituencies, is the most prominent of the 152 candidates in the fray. To avoid any untoward incident on polling day, the Central security forces have taken positions in and around 682 polling booths set up for the 5,57,279 voters including 2,68,287 women in Srinagar, a week ahead of the polls. There has been violence against the contesting candidates at several places in downtown city and uptown civil lines area of the city since the focus shifted to electioneering in eight assembly constituencies of Srinagar district. Several parts of interior city including Nowhatta, Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal, Syed Ali Akbar and Dal Hassan Yar witnessed violent protests yesterday by supporters of the election boycott propagated by the separatist Coordination Committee. Campaigning in the city today remained a low key affair in wake of violence over the past two days.