Authorities have suspended all internet services in the three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Gandarbal where voting is scheduled on Sunday for the parliamentary by-elections. Both mobile internet and fixed line broadband connectivity were suspended in the three poll-bound districts which constitute Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constituency.
The authorities refused to confirm the suspension of the internet connectivity on record. Sources told IANS that the suspension has been enforced to prevent separatists and rumour mongers from disrupting the polls. The voting in the parliamentary by-poll would begin at 7 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. A total of 1,261,397 voters are eligible to exercise democratic right for which 1,559 polling stations have been set up.
Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to secure the poll staff and polling stations. Ruling Peoples Democratic Party candidate Nazir Ahmad Khan is challenged by former Chief minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah. Although there are nine candidates in the fray, the contest is mainly between Khan and Abdullah who is the joint candidate of the National Conference and the Congress.