Srinagar: Voting in the Kashmir Valley started on a dull note, sources said on Monday. Only 6% voters turned out to cast their votes on Monday till 1 pm in 83 wards of urban local bodies in Kashmir.

However, the turnout was decent in the Jammu district. In eight municipal corporations and committees in the Jammu region, 34% voters reportedly voted at the booths. 

"Over 5,400 voters have exercised their franchise till 1.00 pm at the 150 polling stations set up in the 83 wards across the Kashmir Valley where polling is going on today," an official said. 

One incident of stone pelting was reported where a BJP candidate from Bandipora was injured. One presiding officer in Bandipora was suspended over negligence in duty after a woman was allowed to enter the voting compartment along with a voter.

This is the first phase of the urban local bodies polls in Jammu and Kashmir, which will be held for the first time in 13 years. Security has been tightened for the elections in 422 of the state's 1,100 municipal wards.

The polling, which began at 7 am and will conclude at 4 pm, is being held for only 83 wards in the valley today as 69 wards have been won uncontested. 

Around 149 seats in the Valley and 26 in the Ladakh, Jammu and Pirpanjal regions will vote today. Voting began at 7 am and will end at 4 pm. The last elections to urban local bodies were held in 2005.

The first phase of voting started in districts of Anantnag, Budgam, Bandipore, Baramulla, Jammu, Kargil, Kupwara, Leh, Poonch, Rajouri and Srinagar this morning. 

More than 2,990 candidates are contesting the closely watched four-phase elections, which will end on October 16. Around 240 candidates have been elected unopposed, mostly in the Kashmir valley. 

The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, the two largest political parties in the state, have boycotted the elections citing “lack of clarity” around the Centre’s stand on legal challenges in the Supreme Court to Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

The BJP has said that it has got seven municipal committees in Kashmir Valley as 75 of its nominees have been elected unopposed.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the Centre for the election, pushing in 400 companies of paramilitary forces or 40,000 personnel in addition to massive security deployment Valley already has. Governor Satya Pal Malik, tasked with holding the elections peacefully, had made a detailed review of the security situation on Saturday.