Sindh LG elections 2022-violence mars voting at some polling stations

One person killed and three dozen people injured in violent clashes in Tharparkar, Shaheed Benazir Abad, Ghotki and Kashmore and Sukkur districts 

In general, the polling in the first phase of Sindh local government elections 2022 is taking place peacefully and smoothly. But sporadic incidents of violence have marred the elections at some polling stations. So far, one person has been killed  and nearly three dozen people have been injured in the election related violence.  Out of more than 9,000 polling stations established in the 14 district, the violence takes place only on 20 or so polling stations. The polling is taking place peacefully in the rest of the polling stations.

The violent incidents mostly took place in Tharparkar, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Shikarpur and Sanghar districts.  Fistfights were reported from Jacobabad's Thal Tehsil as well, with television footage showing a large group of people shoving and punching each other outside the Kandrani polling station. Polling was also stopped there. Two candidates were among 10 injured in the melee.

The local body elections were postponed in a few wards due to misprinting (typographical error) of the names of candidates in the ballot papers confirmed a spokesperson of the ECP. He maintained that the ECP will issue a new schedule for elections on the seats. The spokesperson said that the ECP has launched an inquiry in this regard.

Meanwhile, several candidates in Shaheed Benazir Abad staged protests over misprinting of election symbols in the ballot papers. A TLP candidate was of the view that he was allotted the symbol of a “crane” but it was printed as a “queen” in the ballot papers. However, the presiding officer stopped the voting process on the seat.

Some incidents of violence, clashes and attacks on polling officials were also reported in different areas of the province.

The situation became tense when a group of armed people attacked the social security polling station in Shaheed Benazir Abad (Nawab shah) and held the polling staff hostage, said the presiding officer. Later, they fled the polling station with election material, he added.

Regional Election Commissioner Naveed Aziz informed in writing to the concerned SSP about the incident. When contacted, SSP Saud Magsi said that they have registered a case against 15 people for their alleged involvement in the case.

In Naushero Feroze, the voting process was stopped temporarily when clashes erupted between two rival groups. At least four people were injured.

The violent clash also took place in Tharparkar district at two different polling stations. At least 15 people have been arrested in Panu Aqil Tehsil of Ghotki districts for creating hurdles in polling which stopped voting for couple of hours.

                                                             election cell

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