LAHORE – It looks the PTI tsunami has invading its own ranks as the party faced a series of violence during the second phase of the intra-party polls for different tehsils, towns and districts of the Punjab.
Many from the traditional political lot who had joined the PTI left no stone unturned to use their traditional dirty tactics during Tuesday’s polling, making a mockery of party’s slogan of change.
The worst display of hooliganism and violence came in Gujranwala where warring PTI groups severely beaten up the media personnel covering the event at one polling station. The PTI activists broke the wrist bone of a reporter and beat up some other newsmen as well, besides damaging their cameras and other equipment.
PTI election authorities in Sialkot had also to face brutality of two contesting groups who involved in a free-style wrestling before beating up their colleagues conducting the election. The polls were suspended for a while and then postponed in the city which is famous for sports products.
Polling was also suspended in Bahawalpur when two camps used obnoxious language against each other before they took to exchanging punches and kicks, while one group thrown the ballot boxes out of the polling station.
In another episode of violence, the supporters of two competitors in Multan district exchanged hot words and later engaged in a hand to hand combat over errors in electoral rolls. The polling was postponed there. The Lahore metropolitan, Gujrat, Muzzafargarh and some other districts of Punjab also faced minor skirmishes between various groups running for the slots of party offices. In Rawalpindi, one group running for the party polls of the city got stay order from court and the local police sealed the polling station.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan talking to the media alleged that the sealed polling station has nothing to do with the polling for the party polls and the provincial government used the police in this incident for gaining some political mileage. He said that the party polls for Rawalpindi would now be held in Islamabad tomorrow (Thursday).
Taking notice of the violence against the newsmen in Gunjranwala, PTI chief election commissioner Hamid Khan said that the party chief Imran Khan has ordered immediate probe into the incident and asked for a report over the issue in next 24 hours. He said that strict disciplinary action would be taken against those responsible. Terming the PTI workers as the real torch-bearers of democracy, Hamid claimed that nobody would be allowed to violate the democratic norms.