Tuesday, Oct 01, 2002
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By Shujaat Bukhari
The Chief Electoral Officer, Pramod Jain, said a heavy deployment of security forces had reduced fears. Noorabad, Wachi, Homeshalibugh and Kulgam segments of Anantnag and Pulwama districts had hypersensitive polling stations.
An estimated 17.78 lakh voters will decide the fate of 228 candidates, 16 of whom are women. Re-polls are to be held in nine polling stations in Budgam, Rajouri and Poonch.
Militants are continuing their anti-election activities. In Pampore, they hurled a grenade at a polling station injuring four officials. In Norpora of Kokernag, an improvised explosive device planted by militants was defused. At Halan in the same area, a police station was set on fire. A grenade was thrown at a BSF patrol party in Awantipora, injuring two civilians. In Satoora Tral, militants attacked security forces and two were injured. Security forces foiled an attempt to infiltrate the Machil sector and two militants were killed.
While Baramulla, Kupwara, Rajouri, Poonch, Srinagar, Budgam and Jammu went to the polls in the first and second phases, the fourth phase is confined to six segments in Doda district besides the Lolab segment where the polling was countermanded after the killing of the Law Minister, Mushtaq Lone.
Omar to quit Ministry
Upset over the ``bitter'' attack against the National Conference by BJP leaders during electioneering, the party president, Omar Abdullah, today spoke of fresh strains in the party's relationship with the NDA and announced that he would resign from the Vajpayee Government after the Assembly elections.
``I will resign from the Union Ministry irrespective of whether my party comes to power or sits in the Opposition. I will meet the Prime Minister and submit my resignation after the completion of the poll process on October 8," he told reporters.
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