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Inquiry begins against 58 officers in Daska by-poll rigging case

The 58 officers include a former District Police Officer of Sialkot and a Sub-Division Police Officer. As per the notification, the officers have been warned to not leave the city.

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Regular inquiry against 58 officers involved in the Daska by-poll rigging will officially begin today, the media reported. The inquiry will result in the sentence for the officers.

According to details, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a notification to the Chief Secretary of Punjab. The 58 officers include a former District Police Officer of Sialkot and a Sub-Division Police Officer. As per the notification, the officers have been warned to not leave the city, the media reported.

Moreover, a fresh inquiry will be launched against 27 presiding officers who were deployed during the Daska by-polls. The officers have to appear before the ECP on 3rd June.

Read more: Questioning the credibility of Pakistan’s election system

Daska by-polls rigging

The NA-75 Sialkot-IV by-election held in Daska on February 19 was not held in a fair, free, and transparent manner, according to an inquiry report issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan in 2021, during former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tenure.

The report concluded that election officials, police, and the local administration failed to play their “designated role in a requisite manner and were found [to be] puppets in the hands of their unlawful masters” during the by-election.

Pertinent to mention, the controversial Daska by-polls, were marred by violence, rigging, and the disappearance of over 20 presiding officers (POs), and subsequently, a fact-finding inquiry was launched to probe into the irregularities.

Later, the ECP ordered re-election in the NA-75 Sialkot-Daska constituency over alleged rigging. Moreover, the ECP had also ordered the suspension of the relevant deputy commissioner, the district police officer (DPO), assistant commissioner, and SPDO Daska over “rigging”.

Meanwhile, during the investigation, it was found that the presiding officers were given the instructions to slow down the voting process, close the polling stations early i.e. by 4:30 pm, and not interfere in the doings of the district administration and police and whatever they want to do.

Read more: PML-N or PTI: Who won NA-75 by-election?