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Indian Kashmir votes in shadow of violence

Published on Apr 24, 2014 2:22 PM

ANANTNAG (AFP) - Indian Kashmir headed to the polls under the shadow of violent threats from militants on Thursday in the latest stage of the country's five-week election that sees 180 million people eligible to vote.

Residents of India's financial and entertainment capital Mumbai also cast ballots, as did constituents in the electorally significant southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The polls are being staggered in a bid to ensure the safety of the 814-million-strong electorate with results due on May 16 when the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is forecast to take power.

The first of three constituencies to vote in the Muslim-majority and volatile Kashmir valley, where a separatist movement against Indian rule is centred, posed a heightened challenge for security forces.

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