The Kashmiri separatists' call for a poll boycott was rebuffed for the third time in the Valley when 63 per cent voters cast their ballots in five constituencies of Kupwara district in north-western Kashmir on Sunday.
Divisional Commissioner Masood Samoon told mediapersons that Karnah constituency recorded the highest polling — 79 per cent — on Sunday.
Langate recorded the lowest of 53 per cent, while Kupwara saw 60 per cent polling, Handwara 59 per cent and Lolab 64 per cent. Samoon, however, said that the figures were “tentative” and they could go up.
Earlier, in five constituencies of Bandipora and Ganderbal, considered to be under the sway of separatists, polling was as high as 57 per cent and 69 per cent respectively.
Polling will take place in four more phases in the state — on December 7, 13, 17 and 24.
There are 71 candidates in the fray for Kupwara’s five seats. They include 31 independents and five women.
Polling was, by and large, peaceful. However, in Trehgam, the hometown of Maqbool Butt, father of Kashmir’s militancy who was hanged to death in Delhi’s Tihar jail in 1984, dozens of residents held protests and shouted anti-election and pro-freedom slogans.
These protesters were later lathi-charged and dispersed by CRPF men.