LAKKI MARWAT - An independent candidate for PK-93 (Lakki Marwat-III) Riazullah Khan came under firing attack in Bargai area near Tajori town on Saturday.

Police said the poll contender was attacked as he was returning from the village after attending election meetings. They said Riazullah and his companions remained unhurt as the driver wisely negotiated a turn to avoid the attack.

In his preliminary statement, Riazullah told the police that as soon as his vehicle came on the main road from the village’s link road, around a dozen armed men fired on it. He said the driver stopped the vehicle after negotiating a turn while the attackers came close and demanded extortion money.

“The armed attackers also threatened me to withdraw from election race,” he claimed, adding they (armed men) escaped when other vehicles of the convoy reached the place. He said one of the attackers, identified as Rasool Zaman, also snatched Rs50,000 from him.

The election aspirant nominated Umar Khan, Syed Ali Shah, Rasool Zaman and Wali Khan identified by his companion Sailab Khan sitting on front seat in the vehicle in first information report (FIR). Police said that they had registered a case against the nominated accused and their unidentified accomplices under relevant section of law and began investigation.

Meanwhile, the police authorities and area elders agreed to launch concerted efforts to maintain law and order and ensure implementation of the code of conduct while campaigning for the July 25 election.

The understanding came at a meeting held at police station Lakki city. The police was represented by recently-posted station house officer Altaf Wazir, sub-inspector Ayaz Khan and assistant sub-inspector Ameer Khan.

Area elders, local government representatives, candidates and their representatives were in attendance. Matters pertaining to code of conduct with regard to stopping weapons display, aerial firing, wall chalking and other prohibited acts came under discussion. The police officials sought help from elders to maintain peace during the election campaign and on the polling day. They said that display of weapons, aerial firing and wall chalking were completely banned, warning that those involved in illegal practices and violation of election code of conduct would not be spared.

“The cooperation on part of elders can prove helpful to stop violation of the election code of conduct and persuade supporters of election contenders to avoid indulging in weapons display, aerial firing, wall chalking and other violations”, they added.

The elders assured that they would work shoulder by shoulder with area police to ensure conduct of national elections in peaceful environment.

In addition, District Police Officer Asif Gohar asked the election contenders to take prior permission from district administration for holding public and corner meetings and share schedule of such meetings with area police.

In a notice apparently issued in the wake of barbaric suicide attack on an election gathering in Peshawar wherein ANP leader and provincial assembly candidate Haroon Bilour was killed, the district police chief said that poll candidates did not take prior permission from administration nor they share schedule of election gatherings and corner meetings with police. “Prior permission for holding election meetings by the candidates is mandatory so that area police could make proper security arrangements at the venues”, he said, warning that violators would be reported to the monitoring officers appointed y Election Commission of Pakistan to check implementation of code of conduct and election laws. He called upon the poll aspirants to be careful about their security and hold public and corner meetings in closed door places.