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ECP Takes notice of the tragic murder of a PML-N activist and the alleged kidnapping of polling staff

On Sunday, the Election Commission of Pakistan addressed the issue of a PML-N worker’s death in a violent confrontation during the Punjab Narowal by-elections and complaints regarding the alleged kidnapping of polling staff.

In today’s by-polls, which took place across 21 national and provincial assembly seats, the voting process was disrupted by physical altercations between workers from various political parties in specific regions of Punjab.

Additionally, mobile and internet services were temporarily suspended in specific districts of Punjab and Balochistan to preserve public order during the electoral proceedings.

A PML-N supporter tragically lost his life during a conflict that erupted in Narowal’s PP-54 between PML-N and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) members.

The victim, Muhammad Yousuf, was a PML-N party worker, and he passed away due to a head injury inflicted by his opponents using a stick, as reported by the police. Consequently, the voting process in this constituency was temporarily halted. PML-N Vice President, Hamza Shehbaz, expressed his condolences for the untimely demise of the party worker in Narowal.

Offering condolences for the activist’s untimely demise, Hamza criticized the PTI indirectly, stating that the violence of a political party led to the loss of an innocent life during the by-elections today. The senior party member emphasized that the promotion of hatred in politics creates disorder in society.

PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal stated that the PTI cannot secure victories through violence and assured that justice will be served for the killers. Following reports of unrest in various constituencies during the voting process, Punjab’s Inspector General of Police, Usman Anwar, instructed officers to maintain law and order throughout the crucial election period.

He promptly initiated countermeasures against lawbreakers and mandated increased security at checkpoints, as a prohibition was enforced on aerial gunfire and weapon displays.

Additionally, the Election Commission of Pakistan requested updates concerning the alleged kidnapping of election staff in Qila Abdullah. As per an ECP spokesperson, the commission has sought information from the Balochistan provincial election commissioner and the Qila Abdullah deputy commissioner.

This report comes from Radio Pakistan, a state-run media outlet. However, the deputy commissioner of Qila Abdullah reportedly stated verbally that no such abduction incident involving polling staff had taken place.

The Election Commission President directed the Deputy Commissioner to prepare a written document regarding the matter, allowing for informed decisions on the previously mentioned requests.

Independently, the Election Commission acknowledged grievances against polling officers (POs) in Lahore’s PP-149 constituency, who collected blank Form 45 signatures from polling agents during by-elections. As a result, the Election Commission requested a report from the Punjab Election Commissioner to initiate legal proceedings.

Furthermore, Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja addressed another event of electoral process disruption when armed individuals entered a polling station in Balochistan’s PB-50 Qilla Abdullah. The CEC personally contacted the provincial police chief, demanding a report to enforce strict penalties on the responsible parties.

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