By Usman Khan

PESHAWAR, 30 May: A man was killed while five others, including a woman, suffered injuries as scuffles between workers of various political parties and independent candidates were witnessed at various polling stations across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the polling day today.

In Merozai area of Kohat, a man was killed while two others suffered injuries in crossfire between two contesting groups. A woman presiding officer was also arrested in Kohat for favouring a political party in balloting.

Inadequate arrangements for the polling faced candidates and voters with a number or problems in various districts of Peshawar, including provincial capital Peshawar. Some candidates complained that their election symbol was not printed on the ballot papers.

However, the Election Commission has said that fresh election would be held in such constituencies where ballot papers lacked election symbols of some candidates.

In Peshawar, activists of Pakistan Peoples Party, Awami National Party, Jamaat-i-Islami and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf clashed with each other at different polling stations. Outside a women polling station in Dheri Baghbanan, vehicle of the spouse of Haroon Bilour—ex-nazim of Town-I Peshawar— was stoned, leaving her slightly injured.

Ballot papers were taken out of the polling station in Pajagi Union Council, which triggered a protest demonstration by the rival candidates and their supporters. They resorted to block Charsadda Road for vehicular traffic.

In Abbottabad, activists of PTI and PML-N clashed at some polling stations, which led to deployment of Army in those areas.

In Charsadda, polling came to a standstill for a sometime after the polling staff was tortured. Two persons were injured in Dera Ismail Khan in an armed clash between activists of PML-N and PTI. In Lakki Marwat, the workers of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and ANP exchanged harsh words as they tried to force the polling staff to act according to their will. Police have arrested some of them.

At certain polling stations in Mardan and Nowshera supporters of the candidates opened fire in the air. Ballot boxes were broken and ballot papers were torn in Badrashi area of Mardan district.

In Shangla, not a single woman polled her vote as a jirga of political parties reached an agreement regarding disenfranchisement of women voters. Likewise, at a number of polling stations in Par Hoti (Mardan), Swabi and Pir Baba (Buner) women voters were deprived of exercising their right to vote.

The commission has taken notice of the women disenfranchisement in Lower Dir and said that fresh elections would be conducted there.


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