Srinagar/Jammu: Braving severe cold conditions following overnight snowfall in upper reaches, an estimated 9% of over 11.65 electorate on Wednesday voted in the first three hours in 16 constituencies in the sixth phase of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Dooru segment in Anantnag district in Kashmir Valley recorded the highest poll percentage, while Pahalgam registered the lowest with just 2.44% of the voters turning up in the initial stages of the polling exercise.
Banihal constituency recorded 15% of voting, Inderwal (12.50%), Doda (12.02%), Bhaderwah (11%), Ramban (11%), Kishtwar (09.08%), Noorabad (11.05%), Kulgam (9.5%), Home Shalibug (7%), Devsar (9.15%), Anantnag (5.2%), Kokernag (6.7%), Shangus (5.17%) and Bijbehara (7.2%), according to official sources.
Voters braved extreme cold conditions and yet again defied separatists to cast their ballot.
Upper reaches of Pir Panjal range experienced snowfall, while plains in the state were lashed by rain overnight resulting in a further drop in the temperature in the Valley on Wednesday morning.
Electoral fortunes of 271 candidates, including two former chief ministers - Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad - would be decided.
As many as 20,000 additional security forces personnel and nearly 10,000 local policemen have been deployed at the polling booths for smooth conduct of polls, they said.
There are 1,268 polling stations in the 16 constituencies in Anantnag, Kulgam, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts.
Security forces deployed recovered an improvised explosive device in Anantnag soon after polling began.
“An IED, planted by the militants with the motive of disrupting polling in the district, was detected by a road opening party of CRPF at Mominabad in Janglat Mandi area of Anantnag town,” official sources said.
The area was immediately cordoned off and the IED was defused by the bomb disposal squad, they said, adding that there was no impact on the polling.
No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the act so far.