TOBA TEK SINGH: Jhang’s Kotwali police have arrested five accused allegedly involved in snatching polling material from a polling station on Thursday.

Earlier, cases were registered against Sheikh Muhammad Muaz, a leader of Rahi-Haq Party, and Khalid Jhangvi and their 25 accomplices under section 7 of ATA and sections 395, 353, 186,148 and 149 of PPC on the charge of attacking NA-109 and PP-127 polling station 278 located on the Government Girls High School, Muslim Nagar, premises and lifting ballot boxes.

Presiding officer Shabbar Abbas claimed that accused forced their entry into the polling station while Khalid Jhangvi put a gun on his head and others started torturing staff. They lifted ballot boxes, voter lists and other material, fired in the air and fled.

Rahi-Haq Party chief Moulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi is a candidate for NA-109.

Meanwhile, a Jhang police spokesperson said weapons and the vehicle used in the attack had also been seized.

He said the ECP had been approached by DPO Rashid Hidayat regarding violation of election code of conduct.

The DPO said a search operation was underway to arrest the remaining accused. He said a police officers team headed by the SP investigation would hold an inquiry into the matter.

SLOW VOTING: There were complaints of slow voting process in Faisalabad as the PTI claimed a large number of its voters preferred to return home after a long wait.

Healthy turnout was witnessed in both urban and rural polling stations. Young boys and girls who were eager to cast their votes for the first time were seen at polling stations early in the day. A large number of people thronged the polling stations in the afternoon.

Voters struggled to finde their vote numbers and location of polling stations as internet and telephone services remained shut and a number of people complained that they could not cast votes because they were unaware about their polling stations. In some cases, families said their votes had been split in different polling stations.

Supporters of PTI backed candidate in Faisalabad NA-100 Dr Nisar Jat complained that scores of people could not cast votes on those polling stations where long queues were still there after 5pm. He claimed selected voters were allowed to vote for PML-N nominee Rana Sanaullah.

In Muhammadabad locality of Faisalabad, a police sub-inspector Muhammad Ijaz deputed at a polling station died due to heart attack.

In NA-96, a scuffle broke out between supporters of two candidates at Chak Gillher polling station. Constable Muhammad Arshad and two persons were injured while polling also remained suspended for an hour.

When PML-N candidate from PP-131 (Jhang) Faisal Hayat Jabboana reached Athara Hazari’s women polling station, people objected to his presence. It led to a scuffle between his supporters and that of the opponent. His men also fired in air to disperse protesters.

Glasses of his jeep were also broken during the clash. Normalcy returned after more police personnel reached there.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2024

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