SRINAGAR, India – Thousands of voters have lined up to cast their votes in state elections in Indian Kashmir amid a boycott call by Muslim separatist groups who reject India's sovereignty over the disputed Himalayan region.
Voter turnout was moderate early Tuesday with the temperatures low and skies overcast. Thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police officers patrolled near polling stations as voting opened in villages and towns.
Polling was brisk in some places and long lines of voters stretched around polling booths north of the main city of Srinagar.
The elections are to be held in five phases through Dec. 23 in a staggered process that allows the government to deploy thousands of troops to prevent any outbreak of violence.