FAISALABAD

Minor clashes were observed during the polling for the local bodies elections in different areas of Faisalabad on Saturday. However, polling process continued peacefully throughout the day. Some 18 people among two police men were injured during the clashes among supporters and workers of rival candidates, mainly two groups of the ruling PML-N. More than 33,000 policemen, four companies of Pakistan army and 300 personnel of Rangers were deployed to maintain the law and order in the district. Rangers, police and army men were deployed at sensitive polling station while they also patrolled various city areas during the polling process. The polling started at 7:00am in the morning and continued till 5:30pm. First clash of the day was witnessed among political workers in UC-171 Sandal Bar at 8 O’clock in the morning. At UC-89 Barakatpura, two workers of the PML-N were caught by the polling staff, casting fake votes. Later, supporters of the accused attacked a police party, injuring two constables - Muhammad Ramzan and Muhammad Faiz who were shifted to Allied Hospital.
The polling was suspended for some moments at the polling station which was resumed after the polling staff called in Rangers personnel. In UC-132 Sher Singhwala, political workers clashed with presiding officer EDCO Community Asif Tarar. In UC-153, the workers of PTI and PML-N raised slogans and clashed with each other. A voter at UC-147 slapped a lady presiding officer while in UC-139 Shahi chowk Ghulam Muhammadabad, two rival groups clashed due to which three persons were injured. In UC-142 Madanpura, an independent candidate was injured by PML-N workers. At polling station set up at DPS School in Ghulam Muhammad, heavy police contingent was called in after clash between two rival groups.
Police station Jhang bazaar held an accused Abbas from outside of polling station in Chak 220/RB along with a pistol and bullets. The police have registered a case and started investigation.
Moreover some clashes were also reported on Susan Road in Madina Town, Samanabad, Ghulam Muhammadabad and other parts of the city. Two workers of the PML-N were also arrested in UC-21 Islamnagar, casting fake votes.
State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali cast his vote in UC-109 in Khalidabad. He said that free, fair and peaceful local bodies election is a credit of the incumbent government. He accused the provincial law minister of engineering Bholla Gujjar murder and demanded the Punjab CM to take notice of the Punjab IG Police siding with the accused in the case. He emphasised that the IG Police can give clean chit to anyone.
Though vote of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan is registered in Samanabad, he did not cast his vote. According to sources in the Election commission, more than 50 percent of the total votes in the district were cast.