GB forest dept building, 4 vehicles torched as PPP’s protest against alleged rigging turns violent

Statesman Report

GILGIT: At least four vehicles, one of which belonged to an interim minister, and a building of Gilgit-Baltistan's forest department were torched by unidentified persons on Monday as a protest against alleged rigging in a constituency in the recent elections in the area turned violent, police said.

Gilgit Senior Superintendent of Police Mirza Hussain said the violence started after a clash between security forces and protesters. He said there were no injuries and no one had been arrested. Police have sealed off roads in the region.

PPP's GB chapter President Advocate Amjad, however, said that several workers of the PPP were injured from tear gas shelling by police. He said demonstrations will be held in 12 districts from 12-4pm today.

Meanwhile, PPP's information secretary for GB Saadia Danish said that party workers had arranged a peaceful protest against alleged rigging in GBLA-II but the police used force to stop them. She said police resorted to baton-charge and aerial firing, which led to the disruption of peace. She held the local administration responsible for the law and order situation.

The returning officer of GBLA-II, in his report submitted last week, said that a forensic examination of the postal ballot papers should be conducted as their legitimacy was suspect.

However, on Monday the chief election commissioner (CEC) of GB called the candidates who had contested from the constituency and said that he had not received any report from the RO but he did have the vote count. The candidates of PPP and PML-N, however, raised questions over the CEC's statement, saying that it was unlikely that he had not received the RO's report.