An Indian soldier stands guard at a polling station at Khanabal area of Anantnag district, south of Srinagar. File / AFP
Suspected militants shot dead a local leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party in Occupied Kashmir and Kashmir ahead of the latest round of polling, highlighting bloodshed that has marred India's mega-election.
The killing in Anantnag district of India's is the latest in a string of attacks to have marred the election which began last month.
The militants opened fire on Gul Mohammad Mir, who belonged to a local unit of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), at his house in south Kashmir on Saturday night.
Police called it a "terror crime" and Modi condemned Mir's killing in a Twitter post on Sunday, saying "there is no place for such violence in our country."
Police said a polling station to be used in Monday's voting was set ablaze in the nearby Shopian area.
Voter turnout in Indian Kashmir has barely crossed 10 percent in the previous rounds, and Anantnag is expected to suffer on Monday — the fifth round of voting in the six-week long election which ends May 19. Results are to be released four days later.
Political killings are common in India's bitterly-fought elections with party and regional rivalries often boiling over.
The National Crime Records Bureau says there were more than 100 political murders in 2016.
Kerala state in the south and Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the north are the worst for political murders.
The world's biggest election has been mostly targeted by far-left Maoist rebels.
Last week guerrillas killed 15 police commandos and their driver in western Maharashtra state.
The Maoists, who have traditionally boycotted elections as part of their campaign against the Indian state, killed two police in Chhattisgarh state last month.
And on April 9, they attacked a political convoy in the same state, killing five people including a BJP lawmaker.
Monday's voting will be held in 51 constituencies across seven states, including Uttar Pradesh — India's biggest state which accounts for 80 of the 543 lawmakers decided in the election.
Amethi, the family borough of India's main opposition leader Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh, also votes on Monday.
Gandhi, who has focussed on attacking Modi's economic policies, is seeking to become the fourth member of his family to take the prime minister's office.
He has pledged to end abject poverty by 2030 and give cash transfers to 50 million families.
On Friday, Gandhi penned an emotional letter to the people of Amethi seeking support for his bid for a fourth straight term from the city, amid accusations that BJP supporters were giving cash handouts to voters.
"Vote in large numbers to bring back this member of the family," Gandhi, 48, wrote.
The BJP has put up a minister and former television actress Smriti Irani against Gandhi.
"My father-in-law and mother-in-law stay there. Both are diabetic, have high blood pressure. Today is the 22nd day, neither me nor my husband have been able to speak to them. We have no clue if they have medicines available at home," she said.
A delegation of 12 leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, was detained soon after it landed at the Srinagar airport. They were made to wait at the airport before they were sent back by another flight to Delhi.
"New India," Gandhi tweeted in a mocking vein, attaching two photographs of army personnel performing Yoga along with the dog squad on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.
Backed by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, the event played host to 500 specialised companies, unveiling the latest and most sought-after designs in watches, jewellery, and gold ornaments from around the world.
The tragedy struck the town of Qaraqosh, in a wedding hall with a capacity of “no more than 400 people,” Interior Minister Amir Al Shammari told a press conference. That night, it held in excess of 900 people, he said.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid wished the newly appointed judges success in their new roles and highlighted the importance of constantly enhancing the DIFC’s judicial framework.
The light aircraft, which reportedly belonged to RioZim, crashed in the Zvamahande area of Mashava, killing all six onboard — four foreigners and two Zimbabweans, police said. The mid-air crash is suspected to have been caused by a mechanical fault.