BY EMMANUEL REUBEN
SRINAGAR, India : Voting began in the second phase of India’s general elections Thursday amid massive security and a lockdown in parts of the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Srinagar is one of 97 constituencies across 13 Indian states where voting was taking place.
Kashmiri Muslim separatist leaders who challenge India’s sovereignty over the disputed region have called for a boycott of the vote, calling it an illegitimate exercise under military occupation.
Voting was expected to be brisk in the Hindu-dominated Udhampur constituency of the region.
The Indian election is taking place in seven phases over six weeks in the country of 1.3 billion people. Some 900 million people are registered to vote for candidates to fill 543 seats in India’s lower house of Parliament.
Voting concludes on May 19 and counting is scheduled for May 23.