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DADU: Election record, ballot papers and boxes and other paraphernalia were reduced to ashes when a fire broke out in the office of district election commission late on Saturday night.

The fire broke out late in the night and was brought under control by early Sunday morning after hectic efforts of volunteers, election commission office staff and fire fighters.

According to witnesses, the fire was caused by a garbage dump lying before the office which was left burning in the night by some irresponsible person.

All important election all the record like ballot papers, boxes, booths and other paraphernalia were burnt down, they said.

The office staff was barely able to salvage some record in the store room by breaking open its door. Perhaps most record could have been saved if the fire brigade had reached in time, they said.

Atta Mohammad Brohi, district election commissioner, told journalists that only old election record was burnt in the fire. Record of just-concluded election had already been shifted to new building of election commission, he said.

In the wake of fire in election commission office, candidates of different parties demanded vote recount while citizens and social activists called for an impartial inquiry into the fire incident at election commission office.

They expressed serious concern over gross negligence by the election commission staff and blamed them for failure to take extraordinary precautionary measures to safeguard the highly important election record which was a public trust entrusted to their care and decided a candidate’s fate.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2018