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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Shahbaz Gill released after arrest for violating ECP rules during Punjab by-polls

Gill was arrested for allegedly carrying and displaying weapons on his visit to polling stations PP-272 and PP-73 on Sunday.

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PTI leader Shahbaz Gill was released Monday morning, a day after police arrested him for violating the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) code of conduct during the by-polls in Punjab, Geo News reported.

On Sunday, Gill was arrested for allegedly carrying and displaying weapons on his visit to polling stations PP-272 and PP-73.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in its election code of conduct for political parties and candidates, says: “Carriage and display of all kinds of lethal weapons and firearms shall not be allowed in public meetings and processions, and official regulations in respect thereof shall be strictly observed. Aerial firing, crackers, and other explosives at public meetings shall not be allowed.”

He was accompanied by his security guards, dressed as FC personnel.

However, Gill denied the allegations that he kept any security guards dressed in FC officials’ uniforms. He added that he had been engaged for three hours and was suddenly arrested without a warrant.

Read more: PML-N making fake videos of journalists for blackmail: Shahbaz Gill

In the wee hours of Monday, police presented Gill before the district magistrate court of the Tehseel Jataoi area, where the court issued orders to release him.

Immediately after the news of Gill’s arrest surfaced, PTI leaders took to Twitter to condemn the move and branded it an attempt to “rig the elections.”

PTI chief Imran Khan said: “These fascist tactics will not work, and our people will not be deterred from exercising their right to vote.”

In another tweet later, he demanded the courts to “open now” and act against the brazen violations of the Supreme Court’s orders and electoral rules.

Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari tweeted that the ECP was “making a mockery of the electoral process in Punjab” and called the arrest a “shameful abuse of power.”

Meanwhile, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry urged other party leaders to be prepared for arrests, saying that police gardi (police brutality) was underway across Punjab.

With input from Dawn