HYDERABAD: A dispute that started between members of the Jatoi clan during the by-election for the PS-73 seat in Sehwan on Monday, turned into a tribal clash by Wednesday.
The by-poll for the PS-73 seat in Jacobabad and Dadu was a three-way race, with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and former Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah coming out on top with 51,103 votes. Habibullah Rind, an independent candidate backed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and Roshan Buriro of the Sindh United Party, received 16,654 and 4,269 votes respectively. The voter turnout came to 47 per cent, and a total of 155,509 votes were cast.
The polls had divided Jatoi clansmen of the Lal Baksh Jatoi village into two groups. The first one was led by Mazhar Jatoi, a PPP supporter, while the second was led by PML-N leader and former minister Liaquat Jatoi.
The fighting started at the Pakka Channa polling station, after polling agents reportedly affiliated with Rind stopped PPP’s Sardar Sikandar Rahupoto from entering the building. Tempers flared and blows were exchanged, and by the end, five PPP supporters were injured. A case had been registered against the incident.
On Wednesday, as the two groups clashed with each other yet again, Roshan Ali Jatoi, 34, was shot dead, while 13 others were injured. Kiran Jatoi, five years old, was hit by a bullet.
Roshan Ali and seven other injured people reportedly supported the PML-N. Six other injured Jatoi clansmen were affiliated with Mazhar Jatoi’s group, which backed the PPP. Both sides later registered FIRs against each other.
“Had the police taken action on our complaint, we wouldn’t have seen this day,” said Mazhar Jatoi. However, Mumtaz Jatoi, an elder of the village where the incident took place, accused Mazhar’s group for provoking his men. “Our candidate had won from Pakka Channa polling station, but [the other side] infuriated us by firing outside our homes to celebrate the PPP candidate’s victory.”
Sehwan police SHO Niaz Panhwar said that two separate cases, of murder and violence, had been filed by Mazhar and his supporters.
Jaro Jatoi, Niaz Ali Jatoi, Imran Jatoi and Azizullah Jatoi were booked under section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code, on the complaint of Mohammad Usman Jatoi, a cousin of the slain Roshan Ali. Meanwhile, eight people, including Mazhar Jatoi, were booked in the second FIR, which was registered by the village elder, Mumtaz Jatoi. However, none of the accused were arrested till the filing of the report.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2013.