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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Deadly clashes during by-polls for NA-240; one dead, multiple injured

Rival political parties accuse each other of resorting to violence during the polling process at Karachi constituency NA-240.

Party workers of PSP, MQM-P and TLP engaged in deadly clashes on Thursday at Landhi No 6 during the by-polls for the national assembly seat NA-240, Karachi. The clashes left one dead and several others injured. MQM, PSP and TLP are accusing each other of resorting to violence and opening fire. MQM-P leader Aminul Haq claimed that at least 10 of his party workers have sustained injuries in the ensuing violence.

On the other hand, TLP claims that workers of another party opened fire at the car of their chief Saad Hussain Rizvi.

The perpetrators also demolished the election camps of their rivals and the exchange of fire between the rivals caused a stampede in the area. Afterwards, police and rangers were deployed in the area to bring the situation under control and establish order.

PSP has accused the TLP workers of opening fire during the media talk of Chairman PSP Syed Mustafa Kamal. PSP claimed that its central leaders were injured as a result of TLP’s violent acts. PSP also accused MQM-P of attempting assassination of Mustafa Kamal in Landhi-6 and rigging the elections.

On the other hand, MQM-P MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan claimed that PSP instigated the violence. He alleged that PSP workers tortured at least 8 workers of MQM-P.

Chief Minister of Sindh Muraad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and asserted that no one would be allowed to violate the law while ordering strict action against the perpetrators of violence. “We are political people and should not allow violence”, Chief Minister urged the political parties taking part in the by-polls to exhibit responsible attitude.

Moreover, Chief Election Commissioner also took notice of the incidents and demanded a comprehensive report to take action against the culprits. He also ordered the provincial election commissioner to take a strict against the perpetrators and register an FIR against them.

According to the latest unofficial, unverified and incomplete results there is a tough competition between the TLP candidate Shahzada Shahbaz and MQM-P’s Muhammad Abu Bakar, with the later leading in a leading position with 10,645 votes, however, the margin is slim as TLP is trailing just by less than a hundred votes after having secured 10,561 votes so far.

The voter turnout is reportedly much lower than average, as the polling is taking place on a working day and MQM-London and PTI has boycotted the election. Moreover, reports and accusations of tampering and rigging are already emerging.

Read More: Karachi by-elections will decide PTI’s popularity?

The constituency had fallen vacant after the death of MQM-P MNA Iqbal Muhammad Ali in April. Muhammad Abu Bakar of MQM-P, Shahzada Shahbaz of TLP, Shabir Ahmed Qaim Khani of PSP, Syed Rafiuddin of MQM, Nasir Rahim of PPP, and Tanveer Ahmed of GDA contested the by-elections of NA-240, whereas PTI boycotted the elections and PMLN withdrew their candidate in favor of PPP.

More than 1500 Karachi police personnel were deployed at the polling stations, while Sindh Rangers also contributed to the security arrangements made for the by-elections.