Independent candidate injured in first terror attack of DDC polls | India News

Independent candidate injured in first terror attack of DDC polls | India News

SRINAGAR: Suspected terrorists on Friday shot at and injured an independent candidate campaigning for the eight-phase District Development Council (DDC) polls in his native village of Sagam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag. The attack on Anees-ul-Islam, the first candidate to come under attack, occurred even as the third phase of polling was underway in 33 constituencies spread across the Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
Police said Anees-ul-Islam, who is contesting the Sagam-Kokernag seat, had ventured out for voter outreach without his security guards. He injured a finger, his left thigh and buttocks in the attack. “Anees-ul-Islam had been allocated cluster accommodation in Khanabal and was informed by Kokernag police station that he should step out for campaigning only with security escorts,” a police spokesperson said. “All candidates are supposed to inform the police before going out for any rally or door-to-door campaign.”
Anees-ul-Islam is a former block president of Youth Congress. He later joined Farooq Abdullah‘s National Conference, but didn’t get a ticket to contest the Union Territory’s first DDC polls. He has since crossed over to the newly launched APNI party headed by Altaf Bukhari, which is yet to be officially registered.
Meanwhile, the nine districts that went to polls in the third phase reported a 50.5% turnout overall. Jammu division led the voting statistics with 68.8%, more than double that of Kashmir division’s 31.6%, J&K election commissioner K K Sharma said.
Among the terrorism-hit districts, Kulgam reported the highest voting percentage of 64.4%, followed by Bandipora (56.7%), Budgam (50.1%) and Kupwara (46.2%). The cumulative turnout of the Kashmir belt was dragged down by Baramulla (30.9%), Ganderbal (24.6%), Pulwama (10.8%), Shopian (22.6%) and Anantnag (21.6%).
As was the case in the first phase of polling, Reasi in Jammu division topped the charts in voter enthusiasm with a turnout of 75.2%. Rajouri (72.8%) and Kishtwar (70.3%), too, kept the polling booths busy.

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