Friday, April 17, 2009

A Pakistan News

A Pakistan News

Palestinians ask Barack Obama’s envoy to pressure Israel

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 08:56 AM PDT

President Barack Obama’s Mideast envoy said Friday that a “two-state solution is the only solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting stark policy differences between the U.S. and Israel over the idea of Palestinian statehood.

The envoy, George Mitchell, spoke after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his West Bank headquarters. Mitchell is here on his third trip since being named by Obama, and on Thursday met for the first time with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has misgivings about establishing a Palestinian state.

An official in Netanyahu’s office said that in a meeting with Mitchell on Thursday, the Israeli leader expressed concern that if such a state is set up, the Islamic militant Hamas group could take over the West Bank, as it overran Gaza in 2007.

The experience of Israel withdrawing from territory, only to have it controlled by Palestinian extremists “is not going to be repeated,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were not public.

However, Mitchell struck a firm tone on Friday, after his meeting with Abbas. He said establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel is a national interest of the U.S., not only of the people in the Middle East.

He said the Arab peace initiative, which offers Israel full recognition by the Arab world in exchange for full withdrawal from occupied territories, should be part of future peace efforts.

“This conflict has gone on for far too long, and the people of this region should no longer have to wait for the just peace that guarantees security for all,” Mitchell said.

“The U.S. is committed to the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state, where the aspirations of the Palestinian people to control their own destiny are realized,” he said.

“We want the Arab peace initiative to be a part of the effort to reach this goal. A comprehensive peace in this region is in the national interest of the United States. It is in the interest of the Palestinian people, it is in the interest of the people of Israel and of the entire region. A two-state solution is the only solution,” he said.

Earlier, Abbas aides argued that Israel must be held to the same standards as the Palestinians. The previous Israeli government accepted the idea of a two-state solution, though it disagreed sharply with Abbas over the terms of Palestinian statehood.

“The international Quartet … demanded from us to accept a two-state solution and agreements signed, and we did, and I think the same standards should be applied to Israel,” Abbas aide Saeb Erekat said ahead of the Mitchell-Obama talks.

He said that “it is time for President Obama to make sure that Israel” meets its commitments, he said, adding that failure to do so would weaken moderates and push the region further into the hands of extremists.

Imran Khan Calls for mid-term polls in Balochistan

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 08:24 AM PDT

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has demanded that mid-term elections should be held in Balochistan by dissolving the provincial assembly.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, he said that new polls would provide an opportunity to Baloch people to elect their right representatives.

He said that women sitting in the assembly were the representatives few family, not the people of Pakistan. Khan said that women empowerment was impossible without provision of proper education, basic rights and the share in property.

PTI chief further said that Panchayat and Jirga systems would be reintroduced for provision of speedy justice.

Pakistan not host World Cup 2011 , ICC

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 08:02 AM PDT

DUBAI: Pakistan has been stripped of hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup because of the ‘uncertain security situation’ in the country, the International Cricket Council said on Friday.

“It is a regrettable decision (but) our number one priority is to create certainty and deliver a safe, secure and successful event,” ICC president David Morgan said in a statement.

Pakistan were due to co-host the event with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

During the first day of ICC's Executive Board's meeting, Australia and New Zealand firmly opposed Pakistan's co-hosting of the matches of World Cup 2011.

David Morgan said: "I am unhappy to make this decision but it is has been made to ensure security of the cricket players."

The World Cup Secretariat will now be shifted from Lahore and the World Cup matches will now be hosted by Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

According to sources, India was hopeful of support from India in this regard but it failed to extend the same.

Report of attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore was also presented at the above meeting.

Abdul Karim Telgi sentenced to seven years imprisonment

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:32 AM PDT

IND1746B.JPG Abdul Karim Telgi, prime accused in the multi-crore fake stamp paper case, and seven others were sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by the CBI special sessions court in bangalore on Friday.

Former police official, T G Sangram Singh was sentenced to three years. However, as Singh had completed nearly 22 months in prison, the court granted him bail.

The court had deferred till today the pronouncement of the sentence relating to a 1997 fake stamp paper case here.

Telgi and the other accused including retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Sangram Singh, were convicted by the court, constituted to try fake stamp paper cases in Karnataka, on Wednesday.

Four of the accused Sangram Singh, Syed Mohiyuddin, Annad Thorat and Wazir were produced before the court on Thursday, while the other accused including Shanal Jamedar, Illiyas Ahamad, Sohail Khan and Telgi attended the court trial through video conferencing from the central prison.

Counsel for Telgi had sought remitting of the sentence as Telgi had been suffering from various ailments and his wife was sick. He had also appealed to the court to club all the cases together.

On 28th June, 2007, Telgi was sentenced to 13 years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 202 crore on various counts in one of the main cases of the scandal.

Maya Kodnani’s bail hearing adjourned till 27th April

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:19 AM PDT

kodnanis Kodnanis bail hearing adjourned till April 27th  The hearing on the bail application of former minister in the Narendra Modi government, Maya Kodnani, an accused in 2002 riot cases has been adjourned till 27th April by a court in Ahmedabad.

Kodnani had applied for regular bail after her police remand ended last week.

She is an accused in the Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya cases where 106 people of the minority community were killed by a mob on 28th February 2002.

When the matter came up for hearing before Sessions Judge A K Aswani, the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case submitted that Kodnani was accused of committing an offence of a serious nature and led the mob responsible for killing people in Naroda area.

Public prosecutor in the case Sudhir Bhrambhatt further submitted that Kodnani being a politician could influence witnesses and hamper investigation in other cases.

Court asked Kodnani's lawyer Mitesh Amin, "Why are you making haste in the matter?"

The Gujarat High Court order cancelling Kodnani's anticipatory bail clearly mentions that investigation in the matter was on, it added.

It further said that it would be premature to apply for bail at this juncture as the chargesheet against Kodnani is yet to be filed.

Government Defers NELP-VIII on tax break concerns

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:16 AM PDT

break concerns  	 Govt defers NELP VIII on tax break concerns Fearing investor backlash on ambiguity over tax holiday for natural gas, India deferred roadshows for the largest-ever auction of oil and gas blocks and the new dates would be worked out after elections.

The promotional roadshows for 70 oil and gas blocks offered for bidding under the eighth edition of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and 10 coal bed methane (CBM) areas were to begin on 20th April but the programme has been deferred.

"Concerns had been expressed by several potential bidders on lack of tax holidays for natural gas, similar to the ones given to crude oil production. We could not have got the issue sorted out just now because of elections.

So we decided that let the issue be dealt by the new government," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said from Mumbai.

The Finance Ministry had in 2008-09 budget scrapped the seven-year tax holiday or exemption from payment of income tax on natural gas production.

Though oil and gas naturally occurred together and a single well could be producing both, the incentive was restricted only for crude oil production.

The move drew flak from oil majors who kept away from the previous NELP-VII round that closed after the announcement.

The tax issue will have to be addressed after elections and a new schedule for roadshows and bid closing worked out thereafter, Deora said.

The Government had launched NELP-VIII and CBM-IV on 9th April and bids were to close on 10th August.

"We were faced with a scenario where we would have completed one phase of roadshows and results of the elections announced. So, we decided to defer the programme," Deora said.
The first roadshow was to be held in Mumbai on 20th April, followed by similar events in Perth (27-28 April), London (4-5 May), Washington (11-12 May) and Calgary (14-15 May).

"The roadshows have been cancelled and new dates will be reworked after (the) elections," said V S Sibal, Director General of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons.

Oil Secretary R S Pandey said only roadshows have been deferred and the last date of bidding may not necessarily be shifted as there were enough time for bidders to decide.
India had offered 24 deep-sea blocks, 28 shallow water blocks and 18 onland blocks for bidding in NELP-VIII hoping to attract USD 3 billion investment in exploration.

The 75 per cent import dependent nation also offered for bidding 10 areas for extraction of gas from below coal fields or CBM, at a time when energy firms worldwide are cutting investments because of falling prices and economic recession.

Besides tax breaks, there were concerns over Government encroaching over the pricing and marketing freedom guaranteed in NELP as was evident in case of Reliance Industries' KG-D6 discoveries where the government first took it upon itself to fix the rates of natural gas and then dictated individual customers, whom the fuel has to be sold to.

Asia's third-largest energy consumer is aiming to cut oil imports and has till now awarded 203 blocks in previous seven rounds with over USD 11 billion committed in exploration spend.

Besides, 23 blocks have been awarded in previous three CBM rounds. More than 6 Trillion cubic feet reserves have already been established in four CBM blocks.

Since its advent in 1999, NELP has given 68 oil and gas discoveries in Cambay onland, North East Coast and Krishna Godavari deep-water areas, totalling over 600 million tons of reserves.

Worldwide spending on oil and gas exploration may drop 12 per cent in 2009 to USD 400 billion, Barclays Capital Research has stated.

India had offered 57 blocks in NELP-7 last year and awarded 44 to companies like BHP Billiton and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC).

In the first six rounds, 162 areas with an investment commitment of USD 8.33 billion were awarded.

Of the total committed investment of USD 8.33 billion received in the first six rounds of NELP, USD 3.887 billion had already been spent by oil and gas companies till March 2007.

Of the USD 8.33 billion promised investment, the largest commitment of USD 3.32 billion was received in NELP-6 where 52 out of 55 blocks on offer were grabbed.

Congress Ticket Got by Sajjan Kumar’s Brother

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:08 AM PDT

Congress Ticket Got by Sajjab Kumar's Brother New Delhi: Days after withdrawing Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar over their alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, the Congress party on Friday announced the names of fresh Lok Sabha candidates who will replace the two leaders.

According to reports, DPCC chief J P Agrawal and Sajjan Kumar's brother Ramesh Kumar have been given tickets to contest as Congress candidates.

J P Agrawal will be party's Lok Sabha candidate from North East Delhi and Ramesh Kumar will contest the election from South Delhi constituency.

The Congress party's decision has ended speculation over the names of candidates who were in race to replace the two senior leaders.

The development also comes days after Tytler voluntarily announced to withdraw as Congress candidate owing to widespread protests by the Sikh community after he was given a clean chit by the CBI.

Minor Girl Dies After Teacher’s Beating

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:09 AM PDT

Minor Girl Dies After Teacher's Beating New Delhi: The eleven-year-old girl, who slipped into coma after she was brutally beaten by her teacher, died on Friday in a state of coma.

She was battling for her life ever since she slipped into a state of coma on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Government and the Centre have promised strict action against those involved in an incident that led to a eleven-year-old girl battling for her life while in coma.

Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare Renuka Chowdhury has promised justice will be done.

An inquiry has been ordered by the Municipal Council of Delhi (MCD) into how Shannoo Khan, a student of Class 2 at ND Primary School in Narela, North Delhi, fell into coma.

An inquiry has been ordered and the principal and teacher placed under suspension.

The incident allegedly occurred when Shannoo failed to recite the English alphabet in class. Angered by this, the teacher allegedly hit Shannoo's head against the table and made her stand in the sun for over two hours. Unable to stand the heat, Shannoo fainted and was found unconscious by her younger sister, who studies in the same school.

The girl then informed their mother, Rihanna, who rushed Shannoo to Maharshi Valmiki Hospital. Shannoo's father, Ayub Khan, who works as a waiter in a catering company, was away in Haryana for work.

"Doctors at Maharshi Valmiki hospital told me that Shannoo''s condition was critical and she might not survive," said Khan.

The 11-year-old has been shifted to the pediatric ICU of Lok Nayak Hospital on Thursday afternoon. "

She was brought to our hospital in a critical condition. We have examined the child and her blood pressure is very low due to which she remains in a state of shock. Her pulse is very weak too. She is on a ventilator and we can comment on her condition only tomorrow," said Dr A P Dubey, head of the department, pediatrics, Lok Nayak Hospital.

"The child was admitted in with severe seizure and her condition further deteriorated before she slipped into a coma. She was shifted to LNJP in critical condition," said Dr KK Deuri, medical superintendent of Maharshi Valmiki hospital. MCD officials, however, denied that the girl was punished and said she suffered from frequent seizures.

Chairman of the MCD Education Committee Prithiviraj Sahni said, "The girl has been detained for shortage of attendance. She has been irregular with her classes because of fits. On Wednesday too, she had fits, following which her parents were informed."

Municipal commissioner K S Mehra has asked the director of primary education to conduct an inquiry and submit a report in three days. MCD has already suspended the principal of the school (identified only as Dhanpati) for dereliction of duty and the teacher (identified only as Manju) for alleged corporal punishment.

Police said they had confirmed that the child was punished at school. Atul Katiyar, DCP, (outer), said: "We have confirmed from various sources that the child did face corporal punishment and investigations are on. We will file an FIR only after we receive the medical reports."

Fake Stamp Paper Scam

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:11 AM PDT

Fake Stamp Paper Scam Bangalore: Abdul Karim Telgi, prime accused in the multi-crore fake stamp paper case, and seven others were sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by the CBI special sessions court here on Friday.

Former police official, T G Sangram Singh was sentenced to three years. However, as Singh had completed nearly 22 months in prison, the court granted him bail.

The court had deferred till today the pronouncement of the sentence relating to a 1997 fake stamp paper case here.

Telgi and the other accused including retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Sangram Singh, were convicted by the court, constituted to try fake stamp paper cases in Karnataka, on Wednesday.

Four of the accused Sangram Singh, Syed Mohiyuddin, Annad Thorat and Wazir were produced before the court on Thursday, while the other accused including Shanal Jamedar, Illiyas Ahamad, Sohail Khan and Telgi attended the court trial through video conferencing from the central prison.

Counsel for Telgi had sought remitting of the sentence as Telgi had been suffering from various ailments and his wife was sick. He had also appealed to the court to club all the cases together.

On June 28, 2007, Telgi was sentenced to 13 years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 202 crore on various counts in one of the main cases of the scandal.

Ajmal Kasab Should Be Hang Publicly: Bal Thackeray

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:10 AM PDT

Ajmal Kasab Sould Hang Publicly: Bal Thackeray MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Friday said Mumbai attack terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab should not be provided any legal help and be
hanged publicly near the Gateway of India.

"Why should Kasab be provided legal help? There is public demand that he should be hanged near Gateway of India and no time should be lost in trial," Thackeray said in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna'.

Alleging that Kasab was being treated as a "guest", the Sena chief said "Kasab's mother, who is coming to visit his son in prison, would now be given treatment as if she was a 'veermata' (martyr's mother)".

He further said that Kasab's lawyers have not gauged the public fury and were "playing" with the country's prestige by being in the limelight through the case.

I Will Not Stop My Vioce: Vuran Gandhi

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 07:11 AM PDT

I Will Not Stop My Vioce: Vuran Gandhi New Delhi: A day after getting a temporary relief from the Supreme Court in the "hate speech" case, BJP leader Varun Gandhi on Friday said he was not in favour of violence as a tool in politics but would continue to raise his voice against "anti-national forces".

In a written statement circulated to media, he said the countrymen need to unite to face the threat of terrorism emanating from the neighbouring countries.

"Indians should unite to face the threat of terrorism (emanating from) neighbouring countries. We need to rise and face this menace boldly and I shall continue to raise my voice against anti-national forces," Varun said.

Varun was released yesterday from Etah jail on parole for two weeks following a Supreme Court directive, almost 19 days after he was detained under the NSA for making hate speeches at election meetings in Pilibhit.

Varun had been released on parole to campaign for Lok Sabha polls with the condition that he would not indulge in any conduct likely to disturb communal harmony.

SAfrica Vs Oz 5th ODI, Australia on 114 Runs

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 06:52 AM PDT

Durban: South Africa on Thursday brought back pace duo of Morne Morkel and Makhaya Ntini in their team for Friday`s fifth and final One-dayer against Australia at the cost of off-spinner Johan Botha and fast bowler Wayne Parnell.
Watch Live Cricket.
Botha was reported for suspect bowling action during the fourth match, which the hosts won to secure an unassailable 3-1 in the five-match series.

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith said their success against formidable Australia and earlier against England is most satisfying.

"If I look back at the highlights over the past 18 months, I have to put the away Test series victories over England and Australia at the top of the list."

"These have been the two toughest assignments for South African cricket in the past and to have achieved both of those successes in the space of six months has been very special for this team," Smith said.

The opening batsman also lavished praise on his young players for living up to challenges.

"On an individual level the most pleasing aspect has been the way the younger players have come through. You need a hard core of experience on which to base a top team and we now have the ideal balance of youth and experience coming together."

"The emergence of these young players has also enabled us to develop our one-day brand and the type of cricket we want to play," he said.

Afghan Minister Escapes Twin Suicide Bomber

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 06:43 AM PDT

Kabul: A suicide bomber was killed Friday by police before he could reach an Afghan minister’s home in western Afghanistan, but a second bomber detonated his explosives nearby, killing three civilians and wounding 16, a provincial governor said.

An armed bomber, who disguised himself in police uniform, was shot to death by police guards as he was trying to enter the home of Abdul Karim Bahrawi, refugee minister, in Zaranj, the provincial capital of Nimruz province, Governor Gholam Dastagir said.

“He detonated his explosive-filled vest after being shot several times by the guards,” Azaad said, adding that the bomber was the only victim in the initial blast.

Moments later, another bomber, who covered himself in a women’s veil, detonated himself near a mosque close to the minister’s house, killing three people.

The minister was inside his home and was unhurt, the governor said.No group immediately took responsibility for Friday’s bombings.

Recently, Taliban militants, who were driven from power in a US-led military invasion in late 2001, have relied heavily on suicide and roadside bombings as part of their campaign against the Western-backed Afghan government and about 70,000 international forces in the country.

The militants were responsible for more than 120 suicide bombings last year.

Suicide Blast in Afghanistan Targets NATO Forces

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 06:37 AM PDT

A suicide bomber targeted a convoy of NATO-led Norwegian forces Friday in northern Afghanistan, killing himself and wounding two soldiers while coalition forces killed six militants elsewhere in the country, officials said.

The bomber rammed his explosives-filled vehicle into the Norwegian convoy in the Takht Pul area of the relatively peaceful province of Balkh, said Abdul Raouf Taj, deputy provincial police chief. Two NATO vehicles were destroyed in the attack, he said.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed that one of the ISAF’s military convoys was attacked in Balkh but would not elaborate.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for Taliban militants, claimed responsibility for the attack and said Abdul Based, a resident of the southern province and Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, carried out the assault.

Mujahid claimed that 10 NATO soldiers were killed in the blast and three tanks were destroyed.

The peaceful northern region of Afghanistan is under the command of German forces, who are part of the ISAF. Currently, 3,800 German forces are stationed in the region while Berlin announced the deployment of 600 additional soldiers to be sent to country before the presidential election in August.

Meanwhile, Afghan and US-led coalition forces killed six suspected militants in an operation Thursday night in Kandahar’s Maiwand district, the US military said in a statement.

Five other militants were detained by joint Afghan-international forces in separate operations in Logar, Nangahar and Paktia provinces Thursday, the military said.

COAS Kayani Briefs PM Gilani of His SA, UAE Visit

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 06:25 AM PDT

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani on Friday called on Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here and apprised him of his recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

In a meeting held at PM House, the Army Chief briefed the Prime Minister about his meetings with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz as well as his interaction with the top leadership of Saudi armed forces.

He also gave details to Prime Minister Gilani about his visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Security on High Alert in Peshawar University

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 06:14 AM PDT

PESHAWAR: Security has been put on high alert at the Peshawar University amid reports about entry of a suspicious vehicle in the campus.

While a suspected person has also been taken into custody by police during a search operation. The police have stepped up security after receiving some reports that an explosive-laden vehicle has entered the campus.

A large contingent of police has been deployed outside girls' hostels, entry, and exit points of the university to avert any untoward incident.

The SSP Peshawar has confirmed that he has received some reports about entry of a suspected black car in the university.

Akshay Kuma Avoids SRK in South Africa

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 06:02 AM PDT

Though shooting in South Africa, Akshay Kumar will skip the IPL matches

Last year Akshay Kumar avidly supported the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Delhi Daredevils. This year, though he is currently shooting in South Africa, he won’t be supporting any of the teams. Even though the IPL involves some members of his own fraternity like Shah Rukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta, Akshay intends to maintain his distance. When quizzed on this matter, he was evasive, "I am shooting during the nights for a TV show. I would like to spend my day time catching up on my sleep, or spending time with my wife and kids who are also here with me."

But when we probed further we realised that Akshay was excercising caution when it came to being associated with any event featuring Shah Rukh. A source said, "There has been a constant attempt to pitch Akshay against the Khans. So far, he has fought a lonely battle to develop and maintain his brand name. Since two of his films have not done well this year, attacks to devalue his equity are stronger. There’s a strong attempt to demean his latest film Kambakkht Ishq. He even knows where these attempts are emerging from."

Akshay said diplomatically, "Right now, I do not want to say anything. I know exactly who these people are and I wish they would do their own work and let me do mine. The day I decide to speak out about them, they won’t know where to hide. I’ve worked really hard on Kambakkht Ishq and I won’t let anyone spoil it for me."

Afghanistan Minister Survives Attack

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 05:50 AM PDT

HEART: Afghanistan’s minister of refugees and resettlement survived an attack on his residence by two suicide bombers wearing explosive vests, the governor of his home province said on Friday.

Nimroz Province governor Gulam Dastager Azaad said three civilians were killed and 10 injured in the attack on the home of the minister, Abdul Karim Brahawi.

Asif Ali Zardari Arrives in China

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 05:41 AM PDT

President Asif Ali Zardari arrived here on Friday to represent Pakistan in Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).Earlier, President Zardari addressed the donors' conference in which 30 countries pledged about 5.28 billion dollars to help stabilise Pakistan.

President Zardari will meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia and exchange views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interests. It will be the second meeting between the two leaders in six months since President Zardari assumed his office.

The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), from April 17-19 in Boao, will be a good opportunity for Asian nations to get together and think about strategies to deal with the current financial crisis, Pakistani's Ambassador to China Masood Khan told the media team covering the President.

Boycott For Basic Amenities In Many Poonch Villages: CEO

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 05:23 AM PDT

Jammu: Amidst clashes between supporters of rival political parties, firing by troops and boycott at some places, the polling remained by and large peaceful in Jammu Parliamentary constituency where voters sealed the fate of 21 contestants with an overall 49 per cent turn out.
According to the figures provided by the chief electoral officer, BR Sharma, the total vote percentage was 49 with Samba 47 per cent, Jammu 51 per cent, Rajouri 49 per cent and Poonch 47 per cent.
Addressing a press conference here, Sharma said that barring clashes between workers of two political parties in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, the overall polling remained peaceful with no untoward incident reported from Jammu and Samba.
Voters of Slotri, 82 Dodi-B and 72-Gali Pindi polling station in Poonch district boycotted the polls to register their protest against the state government. They protested the failure of the government to provide basic amenities to these areas and decided to boycott polling.
"None of the electors of these polling stations turned up to cast votes. These polling stations come under Mandi and Surankote areas of border district of Poonch," the CEO said.
"People in the area were reportedly not happy with the government, which is said to be the reason of their protest. The team of civil administration was rushed to these areas and they tried to convince the people and later the voters of Slotri cast their votes but those of the remaining two stations did not relent," he said.
Covering 20 Assembly segments spread over four border districts of Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch, the polling in both urban as well as rural areas was almost same where very less number of voter came out for voting till afternoon, but the poll percentage picked up in the evening.
Barring some incidents of violence, the overall polling remained peaceful in over 2,210 booths established for more than 1.72 lakh voters in the constituency, Sharma said.
UNI adds: Not only the oldies and the first timers exercised their franchise but 50 prisoners also cast their votes through ballot papers in District Jail Amphalla, sources said.
"There are around 650 inmates inside Jammu Jail but under the law, only 50 of them were found eligible to vote," official sources told UNI.
Sources said under trials from four districts falling in the constituency including Samba, Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu locked up in the jail, took part in electoral process under Section 12 (c) of the Act as the papers were delivered to them 10 days prior to the polling date.

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