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Sporadic violence in city

May 12, 2013

LAHORE, May 11: Despite visible police presence and movement of army patrols, supporters of candidates fearlessly committed aerial firing, displayed weapons and resorted to jubilation fire in violation of the code of conduct for the general election on Saturday.

The polling atmosphere largely remained peaceful across the provincial capital as no major violence restricting polling process was reported in any part of the city.

Rescue 15 (police emergency number) received 60 calls involving quarrels (among supporters of opposite parties) in polling stations, six others relating to aerial firing during polls and two relating to firing-related injuries in polling stations.

The Lahore police registered cases against four people who were arrested with illegal weapons and the Sabzazaar police booked Khadim Hussian for injuring a man with a gun at a polling station.

Army troops were deployed at 90 extra sensitive police stations of the city and the Rangers acted against disruption in polling process due to mismanagement by polling staff at a polling station in the Defence Housing Authority.

Though the police were deployed at polling stations and patrolling officials were seen on roads, supporters of election candidates and political parties were seen committing violations.

Information gleaned from the Central Police Control Room set up at the DIG (Operations) Office, army patrolling officials took PML-N candidate for NA-121 Mehr Ishtiaq and his gunmen into custody for displaying weapons and handed them over to the Nawankot police. They were later released by the police on producing licence permits.

PTI candidate for NA-129 Mansha Sindhu was taken into protective custody by the Kahna police after his brawl with PML-N men at a Gajjumatta polling station. Sindhu and his men attacked a PML-N polling agent who tried to caste a vote on behalf of a special person. In retaliation, the PML-N activists attacked Sindhu who was rescued by the police. His car was damaged in the process.

Patrol police took three armed men into custody from Sayadpur, Sabzazaar and handed them over to the Sabzazaar police.

A man identified as Asadullah was taken into custody by the police in the City Raiwind main bazaar while another man was detained by the police in connection with aerial firing in Badami Bagh.

The police were alerted by an unknown caller about jubilation fire by supporters of a PML-N candidate who won in Sundar. A man suffered gunshot wound in the firing.

Some youngsters, riding bikes, fired several shots in the air near Hafeez Centre in the evening. A traffic warden was seen alerting the police by using wireless but to no avail.Capital City Police Officer Khaliq Dad Lak told Dawn that he found peaceful atmosphere at polling stations during his visits across the city and it was because of strict enforcement of law.

He said the army acted in three ways to assist the police as their Mobile Transport Vehicles patrolled the city roads, 90 soldiers remained at static duties at extra sensitive polling stations and Quick Response Force remained in standby position.

The CCPO said during polling process the police mainly focused on security of polling stations and check code of conduct violations like aerial firing and display of weapons. He said out of the 500 sensitive polling stations, up to 160 were declared extra sensitive.