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Independent Candidate Injured in First Terrorist Attack in DDC Polls | India News

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SRINAGAR: On Friday, suspected terrorists shot and wounded an independent candidate campaigning for the eight-phase District Development Council (DDC) elections in his home village of Sagam in Anantnag, southern Kashmir. The attack on Anees-ul-Islam, the first candidate to be attacked, occurred even as the third phase of voting was underway in 33 electoral districts spread across the Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
Police said Anees-ul-Islam, who is contesting the Sagam-Kokernag seat, had ventured out to reach voters without his security guards. A finger, left thigh and buttocks were injured in the attack. “Anees-ul-Islam had been assigned group accommodation in Khanabal and was informed by the Kokernag police station that he should go out to campaign only with security escorts,” said a police spokesman. “All candidates are supposed to inform the police before going out to any door-to-door rally or campaign.”
Anees-ul-Islam is a former bloc president of the Youth Congress. He later joined the Farooq Abdullah National Conference, but did not get a ticket to contest the first DDC polls from the Union Territory. He has since moved on to the newly inaugurated APNI party headed by Altaf Bukhari, which has yet to be officially registered.
Meanwhile, the nine districts that went to the polls in the third phase reported an overall turnout of 50.5%. The Jammu division led the voting statistics with 68.8%, more than double the 31.6% of the Kashmir division, said J&K Election Commissioner KK Sharma.
Among the districts affected by terrorism, Kulgam reported the highest percentage of votes with 64.4%, followed by Bandipora (56.7%), Budgam (50.1%) and Kupwara (46.2%). The cumulative share 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 the poll, Reasi in the Jammu division topped the charts in voter enthusiasm with a 75.2% turnout. Rajouri (72.8%) and Kishtwar (70.3%) also kept the polls busy.

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