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Probe report on ballot paper theft, violence in Karachi by-poll 'unsatisfactory': EC

Islamabad: Pakistan's Election Commission stated that a report of the committee constituted to probe the theft of ballot papers and violence during the recent by-elections in Karachi was unsatisfactory.

The probe committee report was submitted by the Regional Election Commissioner over recent violence during the recent by-elections in NA-240 ((Korangi Karachi-II).

The police failed to control the groups, the presiding officer was also confused, and the identity of the person who returned the stolen ballot papers was unknown, Dawn reported citing the report.

The case was heard by a five-member bench headed by Sikandar Sultan Raja, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan.
The bench issued a warning to Sindh's Inspector General of police (IGP) and ordered that the district returning officer (DRO) and returning officer (RO) will be made Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for the by-elections for inefficient performance, the Dawn newspaper reported.

"We will pass orders to change the IGP, if the situation remains the same during the upcoming local government elections and by-elections," Raja said.

Pakistan's CEC also announced that actions would be taken against any government or political party that would obstruct the electoral process.
"If you are busy till July 7, let us summon the IGP," Raja added.

Mustafa Kamal, the chief of Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) has been summoned for the next court hearing that will be carried out on July 7, Dawn reported.

The CEC mentioned that the real task was to figure out who brought the ballot papers back, it added.
Korangi Shahjahan Khan, the Senior Superintendent of Police, told the commission that four people had been arrested, and Junaid alias Jani had been sent underground by the PSP.

The chief commissioner also mentioned that warrant for the arrest of PSP Kamal would be issued.
Ealier in the month of June, one person was shot dead and at least 10 were injured in Karachi during the NA-240 (Korangi Karachi II) by-election.

Mustafa Kamal made the election staff hostage after he entered the polling station with his party members and broke several ballot boxes with batons.

The Edhi Foundation reported that during violence and firing in Landhi-6, an ambulance of the foundation, that was on duty to rescue the injured, was fired upon but all staff were safe and continuing their activities.

In a message, the CEC had directed Sindh's provincial election commissioner to ensure strict action across the board against the culprits such as the registration of a first information report. (ANI)

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