Voting will now start at 7 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. as was the schedule in Anantnag, Udhampur and Jammu where balloting has already taken place.

"Voting time has been reduced by one hour for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat where polls are scheduled to be held Wednesday," a poll official said.

Sources said the voting hours were reduced because of security reasons, although nobody in the administration is prepared to go on record to say so.

Director General of Police Ashok Prasad told reporters that 241 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed to ensure free and fair polling in Srinagar. Nearly 10,000 police personnel are also being deployed.

Tight security arrangements have been made in Srinagar, after one polling officer was killed and five were injured in violence in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency on April 24.

On Sunday, 17 people were injured in a grenade explosion near the venue of an election rally in Magam town of Budgam district ahead of a rally by National Conference candidate Farooq Abdullah.

Another blast occurred some distance away from the venue in Khanyar old city area of Srinagar. No one was, however, injured in this explosion.

Protestors had also pelted stones at over three dozen polling stations in Anantnag on April 24.

Dozens of stone-pelters have been arrested in Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, part of the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.

Police said these were precautionary measures and those taken into preventive custody would be released after voting ends in Srinagar.


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