Around 10 people were injured in clashes between supporters of rival candidates at several places in Poonch district’s volatile Mendhar tehsil on Saturday as the eight-phase J&K District Development Council elections concluded there on a violent note, sources said.
In the final phase, the UT recorded nearly 51 per cent voting, with three districts in the Valley recording under 10 per cent voting. In all districts of the Jammu division, voting averages remained above 60 per cent with Poonch noting the highest — 83.5 per cent. The highest voting average recorded for the 10 districts of the Valley was 40.6 per cent which dropped to 29.9 per cent in the final phase of the polls.
Jammu averaged above 60 per cent voting in all phases, noting its highest voting average of 72.7 per cent on Saturday.
Those injured in clashes in Poonch include a Congress candidate, Parveen Sarwar Khan, and her two PSOs, who faced stone-pelting at Sakhi Maidan. This is the same place where the election commission for the Union Territory ordered repolling owing to reports of irregularities during polling in the 7th phase.
At Shajla, meanwhile, two people suffered injuries after a clash between rival supporters.
A National Conference Student Union leader was among five people injured in another clash, this time between supporters of PAGD and an independent candidate at a polling station in Salwah. There were also reports of violence from Kasbalari and Kalaban areas, sources said.
Poonch Deputy Commissioner Rahul Yadav, said that of the 80 polling stations across Mendhar and Mankote, there had been reports of stray incidents of violence from three places. Yadav said only two people had sustained minor injuries.
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