Voting is underway in Indian Kashmir amid tight security. The elections come after some of the worst protests against Indian rule in the country’s only Muslim-majority state.
People will be asked to cast their ballot on a range of local government issues in an election process that will last more than a month in an attempt to avert violence.
“I am sure as the day progresses, many people will come and vote, like we are doing,” said one man.
Another voter sais: “I have come to cast my vote so that things can change and our issues can be resolved.”
The Indian government is hoping for a decent turnout to bolster its rule of the Kashmir region, which is split between India and Pakistan, with a sparsely populated stretch held by China.
Anti-Indian sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where most people favour independence from India or a merger with Pakistan.
Dozens of people were killed in pro-independance protests last month.
Seperatist guerrillas, who have in the past resorted to violence to scupper elections, have this year called for a boycott of the vote instead .