Tension simmered in Lines Area after unidentified persons attacked and set an election office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on fire on Monday evening.
MQM workers said unidentified men, who came on around 50 motorcycles, beat up MQM workers at the election office set up for the by-poll in the PS-115 constituency and set it on fire before fleeing.
A case has been registered on complaint of MQM worker Faisal against more than 50 men of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H), MQM’s dissident rival faction.
The complainant told police that MQM workers were sitting at the office ahead of a corner meeting scheduled for the day when they were targeted by the MQM-H workers.
The MQM-H workers named in the FIR included Nomi, Faisal, Usman, Zahid, Taha and Iqbal.
Brigade police SHO Akbar Ghauri said the several raids were conducted for the arrest of the attackers. However no arrest could be made until the filing of this report.
By-elections on the provincial assembly seat, vacated after the elected representative, MQM’s Dr Arshad Abdullah Vohra, resigned after being nominated the party’s candidate for Karachi’s deputy mayor, are scheduled to be held on April 7, Thursday. Both MQM and Haqiqi are contesting the elections.
In a press statement, the MQM Rabita Committee condemned the attack and demanded the chief election commissioner and the chief justice of Pakistan take notice.
It also called for immediate arrest of the attackers. “They [attackers] also resorted to aerial firing to spread fear and panic,” said the statement.
Meanwhile MQM-H spokesperson Khalid Hameedi said their workers were at a police station at the time of the attack at MQM’s unit office. “The MQM destroyed its own office and are falsely blaming us. We were in a police station at the time as MQM had beaten five of our workers and we had gone there to register a complaint.”
Hameedi said their UC-10 election camp office was damaged by MQM goons, adding that the Rangers and police were standing by as silent spectators during the attack.