Thursday September 23, 2021

Polls violence: Two PTI activists killed in crossfire with PPP men

MUZAFFARABAD: Two persons were killed and several others injured in clashes between political activists during the polling process on Sunday.

Four different incidents of clashes took place between workers of political parties in Kotli, Haveeli, Bagh and Hattian Balla districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) during polling, police said.

An exchange of fire occurred between People's Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers at Methi Dhara Prai polling station of LA 10 Kotli-III (Chiroi), leaving two PTI workers dead, SP Kotli Raja Akmal said.

In a quick response to the incident, the Pakistan army reached the polling station and restored peace and resumed polling after an hour’s break, the election commission said.

In another incident in LA 17 (Haveeli), one person sustained bullet injury during a clash between the PPP and PTI workers, local police said, adding that later on polling was resumed.

In Bagh district, a clash between the PTI and PPP workers occurred at Hari Gail polling station, leaving six people injured. However, later the situation was normalised by the security forces, an election commission official said.

Similarly, two incidents of clashes between PMLN and Jamaat-e-Islami occurred at two polling stations in the constituency of Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan in Hattia Bala district, SP Riaz Mughal said. In the first incident at Sara Chattiyan polling station, four people got injured while at Jaskool polling station near Chinar, a clash left three people injured. Later, polling was resumed after a short interval, the SP added.

Meanwhile, AJK Chief Election Commissioner Justice Abdul Rasheed Sulheria told the media during a polling station visit that polling remained peaceful at 99 percent polling stations, as he had been receiving reports. Some minor incidents of violence and stoppage of polling were reported to him at a few polling stations and he was taking cognizance of them and due process of law would be applied to ensure transparency of polling, he promised.

The AJK CEC was accompanied by Election Commission member Farhat Ali Mir and Raja Farooq Niaz during his visit to different polling stations in Muzaffarabad. He expressed satisfaction over the arrangements and process of polling throughout the region.

He expressed optimism that keeping in view the early polling trend within the AJK, the turnout could cross over 55 per cent. He said all the presiding officers had been directed to announce results at the spot after conclusion of the counting and results be given to polling agents of candidates on form 24, signed by them.

He said the Election Commission was monitoring the polling process through its central control room, established at Muzaffarabad, connected with offices of returning officers of each constituency.