Srinagar/Jammu: A low to medium turnout was on Sunday registered in the fourth phase of polling in 18 constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir where voters braved cold conditions and a separatist boycott call to exercise their franchise amidst stray incidents of violence.
Balloting is being held amidst tight security in Baramulla (seven seats) and Budgam (five) in the Valley and three constituencies each in Reasi and Udhampur in the Jammu region.
Official reports said while around 19% turnout was recorded in Baramulla and Budgam districts in the first four hours, the polling percentage in Reasi and Udhampur districts during that period was more than 35%.
Sopore and Baramulla constituencies of Baramulla district to which chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Syed Ali Shah Geelani belongs, recorded the lowest turnout of 6 and 7.6% till noon.
However, Uri constituency near the Line of Control in Baramulla district recorded highest polling of 40 per cent till midday.
Minutes after the start of polling in Baramulla district, militants exploded a hand grenade on Sopore- Sangrama road but there was no report of loss of life or damage to property, official sources said.
Four photo-journalists were allegedly roughed up by security force personnel during polling in Sopore, the sources said. The incident occurred when the scribes were covering an anti-poll protest and subsequent lathicharge and teargassing by security forces at Arampora village in Sopore, they said.
In 2002 elections, Sopore recorded the lowest percentage of voting (8.09%), Sangrama (22.10%) and Baramulla (24.14%) while Uri recorded the highest percentage (66.49%), Rafiabad (52.54%), Gulmarg (50.42%) and Pattan (41.55%).
The highest number of candidates fighting from a single assembly segment is Sopore (24), followed by Sangrama (19), Chadoora (18), Beerwah (17), Budgam (16), Udhampur (16), Reasi (16), Gulmarg (15), Gulabgarh (14), Uri (13), Pattan (13), Baramulla (12), Ramnagar (12), Khansahib (11), Rafiabad (09) and Gool Arnas (09).
Three other phases of polling are scheduled on 13, 17 and 24 December.