NEW DELHI (Agencies) - The first phase of sham polls in ten constituencies of Occupied Kashmir started on Monday amid tight security as thousands of security personnel were deployed in Srinagar and other cities of IHK to prevent the long march to Bandipura. A curfew-like situation prevailed in Srinagar and other parts of Valley. Kashmir Coordination Committee appealed to the people to boycott the elections. It also prepared a comprehensive protest programme 'Jehan election waha challo'. In the first phase, polling began in three constituencies of Bandipora district along with seven other constituencies of Poonch district and Ladakh region. However, the turnout remained low, a private TV channel reported. An undeclared curfew was imposed in IHK and roads leading to Bandipora have been sealed. Over two dozen Kashmiri leaders including APHC leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abass Ansari, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi and Mian Abdul Qayyum are currently under arrest, some under a law that allows police to hold people for up to two years without trial. The state elections are being staggered over seven phases, enabling authorities to mount a huge security operation as successive areas vote. The last stage of voting is scheduled for December 24 in Srinagar - the urban hub of anti-India Kashmiri leaders. Kashmiri leaders argue that conducting any polls strengthens India's control over the disputed state. "These are sham elections. You can't hold free and fair polls in presence of thousands of occupying troops," said APHC Chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. In Bandipora town, north of Sumbhal, police fired teargas and used batons to disperse hundreds of anti-election protesters. Six demonstrators, including two women, were slightly hurt, police said. "My conscience doesn't allow me to be part of any Indian-held elections. I will vote when we will be free," said protester Javed Ahmed. People of Aragm belt of Bandipora told mediamen that they were forced by 23 Punjab personnel to vote but they refused to do so, KMS reported. "We have been victimised and lost many persons during the recent pro-liberation protests. We cannot let their sacrifices go waste," said a registered voter Muhammad Amin. Till last reports came in, no one in Bandipora had cast his vote. Srinagar and other towns were almost totally locked down, as thousands of troops were out in force to prevent anti-election rallies, witnesses said. Earlier, the APHC has appealed to the people of Kashmir to boycott polls and people staged protest demonstrations in front of various polling stations. All business centres, government offices, educational institutions, banks, courts and other semi-government institutions were closed to mark the strike. Traffic was off the roads in the valley.