The Sindh High Court has asked revenue, education and election officials to explain why they moved more than 100 polling stations in the district.
The notices were issued in response to a petition filed by a resident of Punhon Veesar village, Latif Veesar. According to his lawyer, Zulfiqar Naich, a polling station which had been set up several years before in the village was moved to Khohara village.
Latif said that the new polling station was 10 kilometres away from his village. The voters will find it difficult to go there and hence it will affect voter turnout. The petition also mentioned another polling station which was moved from near Veesar village to another spot about eight kilometres away.
On Thursday, the court ordered the deputy commissioner, sub-divisional magistrate, Ghotki’s election officer and other officials to appear in court on August 16.
Earlier, on July 12, a former union council nazim from the Mahar group, Asghar Shah, had also told the media that over 100 polling stations were being moved on the call of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders. He said that he met the election commissioner of Ghotki and had sent an application to the provincial election commissioner.
Ghotki taluka was considered a stronghold of the Mahar group but after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Jam Ikramullah Dharejo, the brother of Jam Saifullah Dharejo, won the Sindh Assembly seat here and beat Ali Nawaz alias Raja Mahar. Sources said that the PPP leaders wanted to be sure of voters in the constituency for the general elections and this is why they are moving them.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2012.