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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Clashes erupt in Afzal Guru's home town Sopore

Toufiq Rashid , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, May 07, 2014
First Published: 12:36 IST(7/5/2014) | Last Updated: 16:42 IST(7/5/2014)

Clashes have erupted in many places in North Kashmir's Sopore area and various parts of Old town Baramulla area.

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Security forces had to resort to tear gas shelling to disperse the stone throwing youth.

Sopore which is considered to be bastion of Separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani and hometown of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru had witnessed 0.38 percent voting till 11 am. Sopore is part of the Baramulla district which had witnessed 9.90 percent voting till 11 am.

The two other districts the frontier Kupwara and Bandipora district however witnessed brisk polling of  20 percent and 15 percent till 11 am.

The Lok Sabha constituency is spread over three districts- Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara and has an electorate of 11,907,66. Around 41.84 percent voting was witnessed in the constituency in 2009.
The percentage was highest among all the three constituencies in the last Lok Sabha elections.


Many polling booths in Sopore area witnessed zero voting till reports came in last. No votes were cast in Geelani's native village Dooru. Eleven booths in Girls higher secondary Sopore witnessed Zero voting--this inspite of no incident  of stone pelting being reported. Boys higher secondary school a little away had got 5 votes in 12 polling booths.

Zero voting was reported from Ganiahom, Kakrihom, Khwajasaeb, Meersaeab, Syed Karim, Jamia, Tawheedgunj, Bangroo Bagh and Armpur. One person had cast vote in Eidgah Karim and two in Azad Gunj polling stations.

"Some youth are pelling stones just outside the polling stations, so nobody is coming to vote," a polling officer told Hindustan Times over the phone.

In sharp contrast are places like Kupwara and Sonawari. In  Sonawari assembly segment, at Dangerpora Sumbal polling station, as many as 100 votes have been reportedly beein cast out of the total electorate of 1276. The assembly segment witnessed 21.74 per cent polling till 11 am. Kupwara assembly segment recorded a little higher 24.53 percent.

Brisk voting is being witnessed along the LOC as well--Uri assembly segment recorded the highest percentage in the constituency with 32.79 per cent voters exercising their franchise till 11 am.

Earlier in the day the anti-sabotage team of Jammu & Kashmir police claimed to have detected some crude explosives device in the vicinity of Palhalan polling station on Tuesday morning. The police said the explosives were defused on time. The locals, however, claim that it was a grenade attack.

A low intensity explosion, which police said was caused by a petrol bomb, occurred Tuesday morning in a middle school building in Watergam in Baramulla district.

Meanwhile 61 polling booths in Baramulla constituency were shifted to safer places or clubbed with booths in safer areas.

More than 30,000 security men have been deployed in the  constituency which has 1,616 polling stations.
 
Voting in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency has been considered to be 'serious challenge' by intelligence agencies.

Of the total polling stations, 1,091 have been declared hyper-sensitive and 455 sensitive. Only 70 have been declared normal by the Election Commission.

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