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November 1, 2015

16 dead in polling day violence

Top Story

 
November 1, 2015

SUKKUR/FAISALABAD/LAHORE: Sixteen people were killed and dozens of others injured in local government election-related violence in Sindh and Punjab on Saturday.
In the deadliest incident, 11 people were killed in a clash between supporters of the PML-F and PPP at a polling station in Warrion Wahan village of UC Daraza Sharif of Gambat Town, Khairpur.
Sources say the incident occurred when PML-F leader Pir Syed Ismail Shah Rashdi was stopped from entering the polling station. During the clash, a person was killed and another injured on the spot. As Rashdi left the vicinity along with his supporters, they were attacked by armed men, killing ten of them.
During the clash, the village virtually became a no-go area for police as they waited to enter the area till the firing stopped. Later, Rangers and army personnel rushed to assist the police and controlled the situation.
According to sources, nine of the victims were PML-F supporters and belonged to Sanghar. They were stated to be members of the Hur Jamaat of Pir Pagara. Some of them were identified as Fakir Jamshed, Waisaro, Noor Hassan, Arbab, Gul Sher, Gul Muhammad and Zulfiqar, while Naeem Ahmed was a local resident Daraza Sharif.
Sukkur Commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch said it was a targeted attack, while Khairpur SSP Pir Muhammad Shah confirmed 11 casualities and said an ASI and six constables were deployed at the polling station.
District Returning Officer Munawar Hussain Mithani said there was no possibility of violence when he visited the polling station earlier.
But Sindh Information Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, in a statement, claimed that the victims were PPP voters. He said the opponents had resorted to violence against residents of Khairpur to penalise them for voting in favour of the PPP.
In a separate incident, another PML-F worker was shot dead allegedly by PPP supporters at Misri Shah.
The police say atleast 70 people were injured in incidents of violence in Sukkur,

Khairpur, Jacobabad, Pano Aqil, Shikarpur, Larkana and other towns, as the opposition parties accused the PPP of rigging.
Separately, two persons — Sub-Inspector Abdul Sattar and PTI worker Hidayatullah Shaikh — died because of cardiac failure during the polling process.
Meanwhile in Faisalabad, Mudasir Chandan — an elected councillor from UC-105 — was killed while four others were injured when unidentified attackers opened fire at a rally near the outhouse of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. The victim was leading the procession after winning the contest. Later, PTI workers blocked the main Sumundari Road.
Rana Sana categorically denied any involvement in the killing, as he told the media that the incident took place on Alipur Road, not outside his outhouse.
Earlier, a clash between the supporters of the Chaudhry Sher Ali and Rana Sanaullah groups was averted due to the timely intervention of the local police. According to details, Abid reached Samanabad after receiving a phone call that the supporters of the Rana Sana-backed candidate had assembled in the locality. But Rana Sana’s supporters thrashed him and pelted stones at his car.
Soon after receiving the information, the top district administration officials and Rangers reached the spot and cooled down the activists of both groups.
On the other hand, three people were killed and three others injured in a firing incident at Achhar - a town located near Shahpur, Sargodha.
In Lahore, police in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies remained successful in maintaining the law and order situation on polling day across the provincial metropolis.
A few incidents of minor skirmishes were reported in different areas of the city but there was no loss of life or injury. The police also arrested seven persons on the charges of displaying weapons. They were arrested from Islampura, Johar Town, North Cantt, Qilla Gujjar Singh, Kahna, Township and Ghaziabad, while weapons, including 30-bore and 9mm pistols, were recovered from their possession.
The district returning officer (DRO) had also ordered SP Cantt to arrest the ARO of UC-158 for unknown reasons but he could not be nabbed till the filing of this report.
Police responded to any untoward incident in any area without delay and settled the disputes peacefully. PML-N and PPP supporters had exchanged hot words outside a polling station at UC 123 Garhi Shahu. However, police managed to maintain the law and order situation.
Similarly, the PML-N and PTI supporters manhandled each other at UC-218 Alhamd Colony after which polling remained suspended for 30 minutes. Police arrested an armed man from Sultanpura polling station. An armed man was arrested on the charges of entering into the premises of a polling station in the Kahna area. Another armed man - identified as Mubashar - was arrested from Islampura Bazaar.
Police recovered arms from PTI leader Ch Sarwar’s vehicle and arrested his gunman. The Punjab Government’s spokesman claimed that Sarwar had not been arrested due to some compulsions.
The female supporters of PML-N and PTI exchanged hot words outside polling stations in Johar Town and Farooq Gung, Misri Shah. Brawls were also witnessed between the two parties’ workers at UC-137 Green Town and UC-174 Lakhodair, while the PML-N supporters uprooted a PTI camp in UC-14.
Meanwhile, Raiwind City SHO Ch Sarwar was seen giving serious threats to PTI female supporters after which the presiding officer, Tahir Masood, brought the matter to the notice of CCPO Lahore. Later, the said SHO was removed from there.
Punjab IGP Mushtaq Sukhera said the police had arrested 116 violators of the ECP code of conduct from the 12 districts.
Meanwhile, the returning officers postponed election of chairman/vice-chairman in a union council (UC-86) and four different wards - UC-86 (Ward-3), UC-162 (Ward-5), UC-185 (Ward-4) and UC-193 (Ward-2).
In Lodhran, 10 people were injured in separate incidents of scuffle. Seven people were reportedly injured in Jaranwala and four in Vehari as well.
In Gujrat, police baton-charged the protesters when they protested against alleged rigging by the ruling party candidate in UC-11.
Three presiding officers and a candidate received head injuries in separate incidents across Okara, while PTI Ashraf Sohna was arrested among those arrested for attacking the polling staff.
Sohna was arrested as rival groups clashed in Ward No 17, while the PTI workers broke the ballot-boxes and tore apart ballot papers.
Separately, former PPP MNA Capt (retd) Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharal slapped presiding officer Shahid at Lakhan polling station. Later, PTI leader Rai Habibullah Kharal and a candidate Rai Nazim Kharal not only quarrelled with each other but also manhandled the polling staff. Two persons were injured in a shooting incident in Okara Municipal Committee Ward No 24.
At least, 15 people were also injured in Kasur, with two of them referred to Lahore General Hospital owing to their critical condition.

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