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Undeterred by the killing of a woman candidate by militants, people turned out in large numbers today to vote in Jammu & Kashmir which recorded 82% polling in the second phase of panchayat elections being held in the state after a gap of ten years.

“The elections were totally passive and people came out in large numbers to elect their representatives. 82% polling was record in the second phase which was two per cent more than the first,” an official spokesperson said.

The first phase of polling in the state had record 79.77% polling.The second phase of the 16-phased elections will decide the fate of 275 Sarpanches and 2031 panches in 8 blocks of the state, he said.

The poll percentage was 85% in Kupwara, 86.95% in Baramulla, 85.46% in Ganderbal, 77% in Budgam, 81.48% in Kulgam, 77% in Udhampur, 84% in Samba and 83.40% in Jammu adding up to a total of 82.10% in all these blocks, he said.

The killing of a woman candidate in Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir on Friday seems to have had no effect on the eagerness of voters as they turned up in large numbers at the booths to exercise their franchise, the spokesperson said.

In the first political killing in Kashmir since the panchayat polls got underway on Wednesday, militants who have given a boycott call, shot dead Hasina Begum, 40, a panch candidate for the polls, in Chrar-e-Sharief area of Budgam district on Friday.

Though the turnout was low due to heavy rain in the morning it picked up momentum as the day wore on. The polls are being held amidst sharp security following the killing of the woman candidate by ultras.

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