Four dead, dozens injured in PTI-police clash

SHANGLA (PEN) : In the first serious post-election violence since Thursday’s vote, a clash over rigging allegations between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and the police in Shangla on Friday left four people dead and over 30 injured, four of whom were transferred to hospital in critical condition.

Among the wounded was Nawaz Mehmood, a former National Assembly candidate of PTI, as well as seven police officers. Moreover, over three dozen PTI workers were taken into police custody.

The unrest unfolded in the aftermath of Thursday’s elections when the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared Ameer Muqam, a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), as the victor.

According to unofficial results, Ameer Muqam emerged triumphant in the National Assembly constituency NA-11, clinching victory with a total of 59,863 votes, while Fareen trailed Muqam, amassing 54,311 votes.

Infuriated by what they alleged to be rigging, the PTI-backed candidate’s supporters took to the streets demanding a recount and the submission of Form 45.

The situation escalated as violent protests erupted, causing gridlock on the Alpuri-Basham main highway from 6 am onwards. The PTI-backed independent candidate and other party leaders formally announced a sit-in, addressing the crowd.
At around 4 o’clock, the protesters headed towards the District Returning Officer but faced resistance from the police, leading to a violent clash with stone pelting, tear gas and shelling.

The Alpuri Main Chowk transformed into a battlefield, with the Assistant Returning Officer’s car set ablaze by the protestors.
There were also protests against allegedly rigged results in Peshawar and Quetta.

The PTI released a video of the incident, asserting that four of its members succumbed to gunshot wounds inflicted by the police.

“Our results have been changed,” claimed 28-year-old shopkeeper Muhammad Saleem, who joined around 2,000 PTI supporters marching in Peshawar.

“The government should recount all of our votes.”

In response to the heightened tensions, the police took control of Alpuri, implementing strict checks at entry and exit points to maintain order and security.