Srinagar: District Anantnag, which was on the boil even before the official confirmation of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Manan Wani on Wednesday during the Handwara encounter, will witness the third phase of municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow.

The security agencies are on a higher degree of alert for the third phase of civic polls, keeping in view the prevailing situation in Anantnag district.

Eight wards of Anantnag will go to the polls on October 13, for which 17 candidates are in the fray. A total of 5,469 voters will cast their votes in the district itself.

In the third phase, 1,93,990 voters will exercise their franchise for 96 wards of four districts of Jammu and Kashmir for which 365 candidates are contesting.

Instead of the 207 wards that were supposed to witness the civic polls in the third phase, elections will be held in just 100, of which 56 are in the Samba district in Jammu district.

Of the 44 wards of the Valley that are going to polls on Saturday, 10 wards are in the civil lines area of Srinagar, namely Natipora, Chanapora, Budshah Nagar, Lal Chowk, Rajbagh, Ikhrajpora, Mehjoor Nagar, Baghat Barzulla, Hyderpora and Rawalppora.

Twenty wards are in the downtown area of the state capital: Rozabal, Daulatabad, Makhdoom Sahib, Khwaja Bazaar, Aqilmir Khanyar, Islamyarbal, Nawab Bazaar, Nawa Kadal, Safakadal, Rathpora, Edigah, Palpora, Tarabal, Khanqah-e-Mualla, Maharajgunj and Jamia Masjid.

So far, candidates from 49 wards in the Valley have been declared winners uncontested while 58 wards saw no nomination whatsoever. The latter are mostly in Pulwama and Anantnag districts.

The Election Commission has set up 300 polling stations for this phase, with 221 in Srinagar alone.

The voting percentage in the Valley has been quite depressing, with poor voter turnouts, despite the peaceful atmosphere during the first two phases. The situation in the Kashmir region is at present volatile owing to the separatist tendencies aroused by the killing of PhD student-turned-terrorist Wani.

The Election Commission has increased the voting hours from nine to 10 hours in the last three phases to encourage voters to exercise their franchise.

In the second phase, five districts of Kashmir saw a voting of 3.4%, which is 8.6%, less than turnout of first phase. On the other hand, Jammu region has seen a significant rise in voter turnout with 78% in comparison with 65% in first phase of Municipal Elections.

The overall turnout of the State witnessed a steep decline after Kashmiris turned faces from polling both; following boycott call from PDP, NC and Separatists, and threats from terror outfits.

With inputs from agencies