One person was shot dead and 12 others were injured as violence erupted in Karachi on Thursday during a by-election.
Clashes took place between the rival factions of the now-defunct Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party during the NA-240 (Korangi Karachi II) by-election. A police official said the religious party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), was also involved in some of the incidents of violence.
“Clashes mainly took place between workers and leaders of the competing parties, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P),” the official said, adding that in some areas, TLP workers also opened fire.
All the three parties later accused one other of poll rigging and inciting violence during the polling held for the NA-240 constituency, which covers the heavily populated areas of Landhi and Korangi.
These areas and constituencies have remained a stronghold of the defunct MQM for years.
Police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said the casualties were brought to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) from the Landhi area.
She said a person identified as Saifuddin Kaleem was brought dead to JPMC with bullet injuries on his head, while 12 others were brought with injuries mostly caused due to bullet shots or by hard and blunt instruments.
The by-polls in the National Assembly constituency was necessitated after the seat fall vacant following the death of MQM-P MNA Iqbal Muhammad Ali in April.
A total of 309 polling stations and 1,236 polling booths were set up for elections in the constituency. Mainly dominated by Urdu speakers, the constituency has a moderate number of pockets of residents of other linguistic groups.
With a total of 25 candidates in the run, among the main contestants include Muhammad Abu Bakar of the MQM-P, Shahzada Shahbaz of the TLP, Nasir Rahim of the PPP, Shabbir Ahmed Qaimkhani of PSP, Syed Rafiuddin of MQM with a number of independent candidates. Hours before the polling, the PML-N announced to withdraw from the process in favour of the PPP.