Jammu/Srinagar: Barring an incident of stone pelting in Srinagar, the municipal polls in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday took place peacefully after 13 long years, with Rajouri in Jammu region registering the highest turnout and Bandipora in the Kashmir Valley the lowest. Amid tight security, polling was brisk in the Jammu region where an official said that Rajouri district recorded nearly 60 per cent of voter turnout and Poonch 52 per cent. Voting began at 7 a.m.
Voting took place peacefully in Gandhi Nagar, R.S. Pura, Bishnah, Arnia, Khour, Jurian, Akhnoor, Nowshera, Surankote and Kalakote areas and other wards. But the story in the Kashmir Valley was starkly different, with most voters keeping away from the balloting centres amid a separatist called shutdown.
Kupwara in the Valley recorded the highest voter turnout at 29 per cent while at all other places, including the three municipal corporation wards in Srinagar city, saw less than 10 per cent of voting, the official added. Voting was subdued throughout the valley — 21 per cent in Handwara, 2.96 in Bandipora, 4 per cent in Badgam and Baramullah and 6 per cent in Anantnag.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and the urban hub of a lingering separatist campaign, registered 4 per cent polling till 1.30 p.m. Some youths clashed with security forces in Bagh-e-Mehtab in Srinagar but officials said the situation was quickly brought under control. No militancy related incident was reported in the state. Mobile Internet services were suspended in all south Kashmir districts. The first phase of the civic polls took place amid a boycott by the two key parties in the state — the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party.