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Srinagar Lok Sabha by-elections: Election Commission orders re-poll in 38 polling stations

India TV Politics Desk Srinagar 11 Apr 2017, 20:00:55 IST
India TV Politics Desk

The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered repoll in 38 polling stations of the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency which witnessed large-scale violence during the April 10 by-election. 

In a letter to the state Chief Electoral Officer, the Commission said it is ordering repoll based on the reports of the returning officers and observers. 

The repoll will be held on April 13.

State Chief Electoral officer Shantmanu told the media here that "the decision on re-poll in 38 polling stations come from the Election Commission of India and re-poll at these polling stations would be now held on April 13 (Thursday)".

The 38 polling stations are spread across five assembly segments of the parliamentary constituency. 

While 16 polling stations or booths are located in Chadoora, eight are in Budgam, five in Beerwah, one in Khan Sahib and eight in Chararisharief. 

The polling stations are based in 30 locations or buildings across Srinagar. 

The by-poll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency -- spread across three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal -- was marred by widespread violence with the police claiming that nearly 200 incidents of violent protests took place in central Kashmir.

Eight persons died and several got injured in firing by security forces on rampaging mobs in various parts of the constituency. The constituency recorded little over 7 per cent voter turnout. 

Almost 70 per cent of the polling booths in Budgam district were abandoned by the polling staff due to the spate of violent protests in several areas, officials said. 

Army was called out to help quell the rampaging mob which pelted stones and hurled petrol bombs to set a polling booth ablaze in the Ganderbal district of the Srinagar constituency. 

With the EC ordering repoll, speculation that the Srinagar bypoll could be countermanded on account of violence is now virtually ruled out.

Amid the violence, the Election Commission on Monday deferred the election in the Anantnag parliamentary constituency -- scheduled to be held on April 12 -- till May 25.

"The commission expects the law and order situation in the constituency to improve and become conducive to the holiding of free and fair election," it said. 

(With agencies)