Press Trust of india

Protesters block Jammu-Akhnoor highway alleging malpractice during counting of votes

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Jammu, Dec 2: Scores of protesters blocked Sunday Jammu-Akhnoor highway alleging malpractice during counting of votes at the end of the sixth phase of the Jammu and Kashmir panchayat elections, officials said.

The residents of lower Amb village blocked the highway at Batehra in the outskirts of Jammu, claiming that the officials on election duty declared the BJP supported candidate winner even as he was trailing by three votes at the end of the counting for sarpanch elections, the officials said.

"The counting of votes was carried out thrice and I was leading with three votes. I had got 786 votes against the nearest rival who had got 783 votes. But, the rival candidate was declared winner by one vote," Darshan Singh, a candidate in the polls, said.

Singh, who was leading the protesters alleged that the officials declared the result at the behest of BJP leaders.

The protesters burnt tyres on the road to press for reelection but later dispersed off peacefully after senior officials visited them, the officials said.

"The complaint was related to counting of votes and the protesters were asked to lodge a complaint with the  authority concerned. They have lodged a complaint and it will be investigated," district election officer Ramesh Kumar said.

The last polls of the nine-phased election is scheduled for December 11.

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