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KARACHI: Some polling stations in PS-88 Malir-ll constituency turned battle fields on Tuesday as clashes erupted amongst workers of the PPP and PTI while police arrested Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ordered his expulsion from the constituency where by-polls were underway.

However, the voting process at most of the polling stations continued smoothly, amid tight security arrangements.

As per unofficial, unconfirmed results from 40 out of the total 108 polling stations, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Yousaf Baloch was leading his opponents with securing some 9555 votes, followed by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) Kashif Ali who begged some 1743, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Jan Sher Junejo secured 1696 votes.

Vote count process was underway till filing of the report at around 9:45 PM.

PTI while confirming Haleem’s arrest has strongly condemned the police move. Muhammad Ali Baloch, the spokesman of Haleem Adil said in a statement that the “Malir police, on a complaint of PPP workers has registered yet another case against Haleem Adil Sheikh, and showed his arrest who was now transferred to CIA Center Karachi.”

PTI leader Samir Mir Shaikh alleged that police tortured PTI polling agents and women voters, urging the Supreme Court, ECP, and Sindh High Court to take action against the police. While SSP Malir said Haleem has been arrested on directions of ECP.

Earlier, regional election commissioner, Karachi District Returning Officer for By-Election PS-88, Malir-II Syed Nadeem Haider while exercising magisterial powers ordered the law enforcement agencies to expel Haleem Adil Sheikh, MPA PS-99 Karachi East- from the constituency till the culmination of polling process.

In a letter, a copy of which available with Business Recorder, Nadeem said “He (Haleem Adil) is visiting constituency as reported by monitoring teams constituted by the ECP as well as media reports for the transparent conduct of by-election PS-88, Malir.”

It further said “The supra member of provincial Assembly is visiting the constituency in the form of car rally along with arms guards and sufficient peoples creating inconvenience for the voters to exercise their right of vote in the peaceful manner. Furthermore, it may also be ensured that not any sitting MNA/ MPA, Senator /Minister and other public office bearers from any group of party may be allowed to visit area falling under the territorial jurisdiction of PS-88 Malir-l, where the poll process is being held.”

The polling began at 8am and continued till 5pm. A total of 145,627 registered voters in the constituency; of total 81,425 are male voters and 64,202 female voters.

Strict security measures were taken to control law and order situation in the city. Some 108 polling stations were set up in the constituency, out of which 36 had been declared sensitive and another 33 highly sensitive by the authorities.

Earlier today, the PPP also wrote a letter to the ECP and urged it to take notice of the alleged rule violations by Haleem Adil Sheikh.

Later in evening, Haleem took to twitter asking his party workers to stay strong. “I am Imran Khan’s soldier, these fake arrests and cases can never stop me. I will keep exposing the corrupt mafia of Sindh that is PPP.” he said.

Haleem said that Ghulam Hussain Jokhio and Mazar Khan polling stations have been taken hostage by the PPP. “My car was fired upon by PPP thugs. Sindh police remains a slave of PPP.”

“I was not present in the constituency but my workers were attacked, when I got there, I too, was attacked,” he alleged, adding that his guards resorted to aerial firing to disperse the attackers. They harassed me to influence the election, Sheikh claimed adding his party workers were forcibly removed from the polling stations.

“I had expressed fears in the morning that I would be attacked… My security was taken back by the Sindh government,” he said. He also said that his guards were taken into police custody.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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