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  • Voters line up to cast their votes outside a polling station during the first phase of the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly elections at Baba Nagri November 25, 2014.

    Voters line up to cast their votes outside a polling station during the first phase of the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly elections at Baba Nagri November 25, 2014. | Photo: REUTERS

Published 9 December 2014

The third of five stages for state assembly elections is developing peacefully after some violence along the Indian-Pakistan border.

Amidst a tense climate and strict security measures, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir held the third of five stages for regional assembly elections today.

There are over 138 candidates with over 1,300,000 people registered to vote in one of 781 voting stations all over the districts of Baramulla, Budgam and Pulwama.

The Indian government has been watching these elections closely, as a number of violent incidents have taken place along the Line of Control (LoC) through the border with Pakistan in the lead up to the vote.

In Baramulla, six armed men crossed the border but were later intercepted by Indian military on December 5. All six of the men were killed, along with three police officers and six Indian soldiers.

Jammu and Kashmir is the only Indian state with a predominantly muslim population, and Pakistan contests the region, referring to it as “Indian-occupied Kashmir.” Islamabad denies connection with militias fighting Indian forces and calls them “non-state actors.”

To prevent further violence, thousand of police officers and soldiers were deployed to the area.

“We have deployed around 500 additional companies and a large number of militias to stop any attempt to interrupt democratic elections,” said Kashmir Police general inspector. A.G. Mir. 

Elections to state assembly consist of five stages, first two of them on November 25 and December 2 had few incident and a high turnout of over 70 percent.  

Stages four and five are planned for December 14 and 20, the final count and announcement of the results are expected for December 23.
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