09/12/2014 4:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

27 Percent Voting Until Noon In Jammu And Kashmir

An Indian paramilitary soldier guards as Kashmiri men stand in queues to cast their votes during the third phase polling of the Jammu and Kashmir state elections in Budgham, about 28 kilometers (17 miles) south west of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. The elections are being held in five stages to allow government forces to better guard against any violence or anti-India protests. Results are due Dec. 23. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

Srinagar, Dec 9: Ignoring calls for poll boycott and braving the cold weather, over 27 per cent of the electorate today exercised their franchise till noon in 16 constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and three of his cabinet colleagues are among 144 candidates whose fate will be decided in the third phase of polling today in the 16 seats spread across Budgam, Pulwama and Baramulla districts.

At many places, voters lined up at polling stations much before the start of the voting time at 8 AM.

Over 27 per cent voters exercised their franchise till noon, poll officials said.

While Beerwah in Budgam district witnessed 29.47 per cent of the voters casting their ballot, Sopore registered 15 per cent voting, the officials said.

Uri saw 37 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise, Rafiabad 32 per cent while Gulmarg saw over 30 per cent voters casting their ballot. Chadoora recorded 33.49 per cent, Budgam 32.35 per cent, Khan Sahib 31.4 per cent, Charari Sharief 37.60 per cent, Tral 17.46 per cent, Pampore 24.45 per cent, Pulwama 19.14 and Rajpora 25.18 per cent, the officials said.

Police said a petrol bomb was hurled by unidentified men at a polling station in Gulmarg constituency. No casualties were reported in the incident.

Barring this incident, polling across all 16 constituencies of the state, was going on peacefully.

Security arrangements in all the three districts have been strengthened in the wake of Friday's violence in which 21 persons including 11 security personnel and eight militants were killed in four incidents in the Valley.