Srinagar: Polling began in Baramulla and Ladakh parliamentary constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir in the fifth and final phase amid tight security arrangements in view of the 50-hour strike and poll boycott call given by separatists.
Wednesday’s polling will decide the fate of 18 candidates in the two constituencies — 13 in Baramulla and 5 in Ladakh.
While it is a triangular contest in Baramulla between ruling National Conference’ Sharifuddin Shariq, PDP’s Mohammad Dilawar Mir and Sajad Ghani Lone of Peoples Conference, it appears a straight contest between Congress nominee P Namgyal and NC rebel Ghulam Hassan Khan in Ladakh.
A day before voting, militants late last night exploded a grenade at Rafiabad in Baramulla but none was hurt.
The grenade was lobbed at a polling station set up inside a government school at Ladura village, 65 kms from here in North Kashmir, around 11 pm yesterday.
In view of the threat perception especially in Baramulla constituency in the backdrop of recent spurt in infiltration of militants from across the border, tight security arrangements have been made at all the 1,946 polling stations in the constituency.
While there are 10,52,971 voters in Baramulla parliamentary constituency, 1,52,495 are eligible to cast their votes in Ladakh.
Even as authorities placed the entire separatist leadership, including chairmen of both the factions of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik under house arrest, they called for a 50-hour strike against the elections.