Two people were killed during Sialkot by-elections
The Sialkot police have arrested a man for opening fire at a polling station in Daska during the NA-75 by-elections on Friday.
Two people were killed and seven injured during the attack. The deceased were political workers, according to the police. The area plunged into chaos and several incidents of violence were reported, with armed men roaming the streets on motorbikes.
Following this, voting at five polling stations in the constituency was halted.
According to the police, the suspect, identified as Hamza Butt, is a resident of Daska. He has been booked under sections 302 [punishment for murder], 324 [attempt to murder], 148 [rioting, armed with deadly weapon] and 149 [every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object] of the Pakistan Penal Code.
“Two men accused in the case acquired pre-arrest bail, while others are still on the run,” the investigation officer said.
Assistant to Punjab CM Firdous Ashiq Awan has accused PML-N supporters of the attack.
On Saturday, both PTI and PML-N leaders claimed that they had won the elections, however, the final verdict will be announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The electoral body has suspected rigging at over 20 polling stations. The final decision regarding the results or re-election will be taken on February 23, after an investigation report of the incident is submitted by the Punjab IG, the ECP said.
The results of NA-75 have been withheld after the PML-N accused PTI of rigging the by-polls.
Sialkot’s NA-75 seat fell vacant after PML-N MNA Iftikharul Hassan Shah died of a heart attack in August 2020. He was also a member of the standing committees on Interior and Narcotics Control and National Food Security and Research.
Shah was appointed MNA from the area thrice. He won the seat after securing 40,042 votes during the 2018 General Election.
This time a tough competition was expected between the PTI and PML-N. PML-N has given its ticket to Syeda Nosheen, while Ali Asjad is contesting on PTI’s ticket.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, there are 453,104 registered voters in the constituency. At least 360 polling stations have been set up. Twenty-five polling stations have been declared “sensitive”. Rangers personnel and 2,100 police officers have been stationed at polling stations across the city.