CHARSADDA: A large number of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) activists protested on Sunday against the arrest of party workers who allegedly attacked the Tangi tehsil courts in Charsadda district.
In the May 11 polls, PK-20 Charsadda-II was won by Qaumi Watan party candidate Khalid Khan. JUI-F candidate Mufti Gohar Ali and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Nawab Khan Mohmand contested the results and alleged rigging had taken place.
They demanded the returning officer (RO) Civil Judge Fazal Sattar Khan order a re-count. Sattar ordered the recount for May 21, but JUI-F and PTI activists still took to the streets on Wednesday blaming the district government officials and the police for misconduct during the polls before the recount process could begin.
Hundreds of JUI-F protestors marched to the Tangi tehsil courts on Wednesday where they pelted the building with stones and attacked the police on duty. Four JUI-F activists, who tried to break into the court and threatened police officers with dire consequences, were arrested.
The JUI-F then changed their demand of recount and filed applications for recounting, re-polling and a complaint against the RO for allowing rigging. The RO rejected these, after which the activists filed these petitions with the election tribunal.
On Sunday, JUI-F protestors, in large numbers, marched towards the Farooq-e-Azam Square blocking traffic. They demanded the police and courts release their party members and drop the charges levelled against them.
At the demonstration, MPA Haji Fazal Shakoor Khan argued the courts turned against the party when it asked for justice. The police had filed hundreds of cases against activists, he claimed. He threatened to lead the protest to Peshawar and Islamabad if the protestors’ demands were not met.
After the protest ended, JUI-F provincial vice chief and former MNA Maulana Attaur Rahman spoke at the Charsadda Press Club, maintaining the party would not stay silent about the arrest of their supporters.
Rahman reiterated the district government and police were responsible for rigging and alleged the RO for PK-20 had rejected their application for a recount.
He also claimed the police charged party workers with terrorism.
Rahman demanded the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa caretaker chief minister and IGP take action and release the activists.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2013.
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