SRINAGAR Unprecedented security arrangement have been put in place in twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian for the conduct of the last leg of Lok Sabha polls for Anantnag constituency.
Over 6.97 lakh electors are set to vote in the last phase of Parliamentary Elections 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir on May 6.
In the last phase, Ladakh Parliamentary Constituency and Pulwama-Shopian districts of Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency (PC) are going to polls with aggregated electoral strength of 697,148 voters including 357,879 males, 335,799 females, 3,456 service voters (3401 male and 55 female) and 14 transgender voters.
The twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian are spread over six assembly segments comprising Tral, Pampore, Pulwama, Rajpora, Wachi and Shopian. As many as 695 polling stations have been established across the districts for smooth conduct of elections.
These south Kashmir districts have 522,530 electors including 271,127 males, 250,735 females, 657 service electors (646 males and 11 females) and 11 transgender voters.
Pulwama District has 351,314 electors including 181,259 males, 169,508 females, 541 service electors (533 male and 08 female) and 06 transgender voters. For smooth polling, the ECI has set up 450 polling stations across the district.
Similarly, Shopian District has 171,216 electors including 89,868 males, 81,227 females, 116 service electors (113 male and 03 female) and five transgender voters. For smooth polling, the ECI has set up 245 polling stations across the district.
The candidates in the fray are Hasnain Masoodi of Jammu Kashmir National Conference, Sofi Yousuf of Bhartiya Janta Party, Ghulam Ahmad Mir of Indian National Congress, Mehbooba Mufti of Jammu Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, Nisar Ahmad Wani of Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party, Choudhary Zaffar Ali of Jammu Kashmir Peoples Conference, Sanjay Kumar Dhar of Manav Adhikar Party, Surinder Singh of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) and Imtiyaz Ahmad Rather, Ridwana Sanam, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, Zubair Masoodi, Shams Khwaja, Ali Mohammad Wani, Ghulam Mohammad Wani, Kyasir Ahmed Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmad Khan and Mirza Sajad Hussain Beigh, all independents.
The Anantnag and Kulgam districts of Anantnag PC went to polls on April 23 and April 29 respectively.
Clashes erupt ahead of polls
Several persons injured due to pellets, stone pelting; two schools among several govt buildings set ablaze
Massive clashes rocked Shopian and Pulwama districts on Sunday, a day ahead of the polling in the twin south Kashmir districts. Several persons including polling staff were wounded amid while many government buildings were set ablaze.
Official sources said that a youth Sohail Ahmad Dar suffered pellet injuries when police and government forces resorted to use of force to disperse protesters at Palpora area of Shopian. The injured has been hospitalized and his condition is stated to be stable, they said.
Some youth also pelted stones upon polling parties at Zawoora Shopian and they were dispersed by using few teargas shells.
Reports of stone pelting upon polling staff vehicles were also received from Pinjoora, Meemander and Narwaw Shopian.
Polling staff was also attacked with stones by youth at Narpora Shopian when they were on way from Shopian to Keller. The government forces fired tear smoke shells. In the dingdong clashes, some officials and youth received injuries during the stone pelting.
Stone pelting upon polling staff was also reported near Goal Masjid Tral and reportedly window panes of an SRTC Bus were damaged.
Clashes also erupted near Mir Mohallah Shadab Kareewa Shopian and some persons pelted stones as a result of which window panes of SRTC bus got damaged. Government forces fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
The government forces also fired teargas shells fired pellets and reported to aerial firing after the polling staff came under heavy stone pelting at Devpora and Mashwar Shopian, they said.
A presiding officer of a polling station of Pastoona Tral namely Nazir Ahmad and a trooper of SSB were injured in stone pelting at Lurgam area of Tral. Both the injured were hospitalized.
At 07:30 hours, report said, unknown persons set ablaze middle school at Tumpora Keller Shopian. The fire and emergency sleuths swiftly acted and brought the fire under control.
Sources said that stones were pelted upon polling staff at Koil Pulwama following which the government forces deployed there fired teargas shells while armys 55RR patrolling party fired a few aerial gunshots. There were no reports about injury to anyone in the clashes, reports told GNS.
Meanwhile, some unknown persons set ablaze a Panchayat Ghar at Chandpora Rajpora and also set on fire a the building of Revenue department (Pathwar Khana) at Rajpora. Reports also said that some unknown persons set on fire a building of Government High School at village Qasbayar in Rajpora Pulwama.
An official while confirming it said that fire tenders were immediately called in and brought the fire under control at these places. Unknown persons also set on fire a Panchayat Gar at Drubgam Pulwama, they said.
Clashes were also received from Saraf Kadal as youth pelted stones at 23rd Battalion CRPF. The government forces fired few teargas shells and fired pellets due to which at least four persons got injured.