Updated: November 17, 2018 7:29:27 pm
Defying terror threats and poll boycott call by separatists, nearly 75 per cent electorate exercised their right to franchise in 288 panchayats which went to polls on Saturday during the first phase of panchayat elections held in seven districts across Jammu region.
In Kishtwar district, where terrorists killed a senior BJP leader and his brother early this month to derail the rural local body polls, the polling was 77 per cent in five blocks including Marwah, Warwan, Dachhan, Paddar and Bounjwan.
However, in Paddar’s Atholi Panchayat, polling was stopped after an hour as the lid of the ballot box got opened, said Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana, adding that it will now be held tomorrow. Accordingly, counting of votes in other six wards of the Atholi panchayat was not held today, he added.
Similarly, in adjoining Doda district where Hizbul Mujahideen had circulated threatening posters asking contesting candidates and the electorate to stay away from the electoral process, an overwhelming 80.83 per cent electorate cast their votes in four blocks.
While Udhampur registered 83.62 per cent polling, Kathua registered 80.2 per cent, Rajouri 78 per cent, Ramban 75.31 per cent and Poonch 70 per cent.
The polling was free of any untoward incident at all places, officials said, adding that it was brisk since morning. Last time panchayat elections were held in the state in 2011.