Violence Breaks Out In NA-75 Polling: 2 Dead As PTI And PML-N Trade Accusations
Two people lost their lives and another eight have been injured as polling in Sialkot’s NA-75 constituency was affected by violent clashes. By-elections in the constituency were affected by the clashes at Gondka polling station, where police and paramilitary Rangers were deployed to control the situation.
Both the ruling PTI and the opposition PML-N have come out blaming each other for the outbreak of violence.
Opposition leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif alleged that PML-N voters at the polling station had been shut out for hours until polling nearly came to an end – precipitating the clash.
PMLN voters in Daska lose patience, protest & break down doors of a polling station after being made to wait for hours as polling time draws to an end. Sharam kero. pic.twitter.com/nwFJ3q1LBc
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) February 19, 2021
PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb at a press conference blamed the provincial government and the Chief Minister for failing to curtail the violence, and highlighted her party’s view that both sides had lost a life in the violence. “Where is the chief minister of Punjab? He says an FIR will be registered. You should be booked in the FIR,” she opined. “This provincial government can’t hold one by-election.”
For their part, figures from the ruling PTI have squarely blamed the outbreak of violence on local PML-N “thugs”. Dr. Shahbaz Gill opined that “PML-N’s thug Javed Butt murdered PTI worker Majid by firing at him and severely injured Sajid” in his tweet:
اطلاعات کے مطابق مسلم لیگ ن کے غنڈے جاوید بٹ بے پاکستان تحریک انصاف کے کارکن ماجد کو گولیاں مار کر قتل کر دیا اور ساجد کو شدید زخمی کر دیا۔ ن لیگ گلو بٹوں اور جاوید بٹ جیسے غنڈوں کی جماعت ہے۔ یہ جرائم پیشہ لوگ ہیں۔ سیاست تو صرف ایک لبادہ ہے-ایک ایک قطرہ خون کا حساب لئیا جائے گا
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) February 19, 2021
The PTI’s Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan went on to name PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah as being responsible for the clash due to the presence of his “private guards”
ضمنی الیکشن NA75 میں ن لیگ کی روایتی غنڈہ گردی کا سلسلہ رانا ثناءاللہ کی سربراہی میں جاری! پرامن پولنگ پراسس کو پرائیویٹ گن مینز کی فائرنگ سے پر تشدد بناکر PTI ووٹرز کو ہراساں کیا جارہا ہے۔ پولیس شر پسند عناصر کےخلاف فوری الیکشن لے۔#بلے_پہ_ٹھپہ
— Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan (@Dr_FirdousPTI) February 19, 2021
Meanwhile Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took notice of the violence, instructing the IG Punjab to send him a report.
Footage of the PTI and PML-N political activists clashing has been circulating on social media, and polling at 15 polling stations out of 360 in the constituency had to be suspended due to the outbreak of violence.