Several persons, including two candidates for the District Development Council (DDC) elections and two policemen, were injured in clashes during the final phase polling in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, prompting authorities to order re-poll at four polling stations, officials said.
The eight-phase DDC elections, the first democratic exercise in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre abrogated the special status of the erstwhile state and divided it into two union territories, concluded on Saturday with an overall voter turnout of approximately 51 per cent.
The clashes between supporters of rival candidates occurred at different places in Mendhar during voting, resulting in injuries to several persons, including two candidates and two policemen, the officials said. The re-polling will take place on December 21.
They said Congress leader Parveen Sarwar Khan was among the two candidates injured in stone-pelting on their vehicles by supporters of their rival candidates, forcing her security guards to open a few rounds in air to chase away the attackers. Condemning the murderous attack on the party candidate, Congress demanded stern action against the culprits.
“We conveyed the concern of the party to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Poonch, Romesh Angral and sought strong legal action against the culprits. The SSP assured appropriate action, Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said. Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, State Election Commissioner K K Sharma said re-polling was ordered after contesting candidates from several political parties and voters complained about unlawful activities, besides attempts to create ruckus during polling at some polling stations of Mendhar and Shopian DDC constituencies.
The counting of votes will take place on December 22.