HYDERABAD/SUKKUR: After the fatal shooting of a political leader in Hyderabad on the eve of the local government (LG) elections, the polling day in all 14 districts of lower Sindh witnessed minor clashes.
On Wednesday night, a Sindh United Party (SUP) leader, Dr Anwar Laghari, 55, was shot dead in Qasimabad, Hyderabad. The party's election candidate for ward 8, Abdul Samee Chandio, and his brother, Abdul Waqar alias Sunni Chandio, were injured in the same attack. Samee is still under treatment at Civil hospital's ICU while Waqar has been shifted to the surgical ward. SUP vice-president Roshan Buriro blamed their rivals for the attack but the party has yet to lodge an FIR.
In the Hussainabad area of Hyderabad, two men and a 10-year-old girl were wounded in a clash outside a polling station in UC-53.
In Tharparkar, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar accused the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) men of attacking him outside Kohli Muhalla polling station in Islamkot. "Two of my workers were injured and my car was also damaged," he said. PPP's MNA Mahesh Kumar Malani denied the charges and accused the PML-N leader of instigating violence. More than half a dozen people were injured in fights in three separate places in Tharparkar.
Ten people reportedly sustained wounds in skirmishes in Jamshoro, seven in Tando Muhammad Khan, three in Thatta, two each in Matiari and Umerkot districts.
In Naushero Feroz, polling took place relatively peacefully except for minor clashes between two groups in Moro's Shah Baig polling station where 12 people were injured.
In Nawabshah (Shaheed Benazirabad), the election process remained peaceful except for an incident of violence at the Government Girls Primary School polling station in Sakrand's ward 5. Here, supporters of the SUP and the PPP fought with some people shifted to the hospital with bullet injuries. The results of the affected polling station were halted by the district returning officer.
DSP slaps MPA's daughter
The situation became a little tensed in Naushero Feroz's Sarhal union council when a DSP slapped the daughter of a PPP MPA allegedly for rigging.
The misunderstanding occurred in Sarhal during a fight between a female polling agent of the PML-N candidate and the daughter of PPP MPA Shahnaz Ansari. The agent was apparently stamping ballot papers on her own when Ansari's daughter tried to stop her. DSP Aijaz Memon tried to intervene and ended up slapping Ansari's daughter which further worsened the situation.
The PPP MPA reached the spot with Naushero Feroz SSP Niaz Hussain Chandio and decided to deal with the issue once the polling time had ended. Later, the SSP denied having any knowledge of the incident.
Blame it on Mirza
In a press conference in Tando Muhammad Khan, Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal accused former home minister Zulfiqar Mirza of increasing tension during the polls in Badin. "The man's irresponsible and fiery statements have created a security alert in an otherwise peaceful district," he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.
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