Daska elections: second inquiry report declares DC, AC main culprits of rigging  

By: News Desk      Published: 11:12 PM, 6 Nov, 2021
Daska elections: second inquiry report declares DC, AC main culprits of rigging  
File photo of PML-N supporters protest outside a polling station in NA-75 Daska by-elections.

Two inquiry reports of NA-75 Daska by-elections were submitted to the Election Commission in which Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner were declared as main culprits of rigging.

According to the 24News HD TV channel, the second inquiry report also revealed more shocking facts of rigging in the by-elections in constituency NA-75 Daska.

The report said that the allegations against the main characters of the rigging had been substantiated but they were still serving in their posts.

The sources said that the second inquiry report included details of investigations from the DC, DPO, AC and DSP.

As per the second report, the sources said that the district administration and police authorities were directly involved in planning the rigging during the polling process in the constituency.

The report declared that the DC and AC Daska were the main culprits but no action was taken against them. The report also said that DC Sialkot misused government machinery too.

While the DSP Sambarial continued to obstruct action in the affected law and order areas.

In the second inquiry report, the role of Punjab Education Department officers was also exposed and revealed that Farkhunda Yasmeen, Deputy District Education Officer called a meeting of presiding officers at her home and asked them to support the government candidate.

The report said Farkhunda Yasmeen signs 600 fake ballot papers and handed them over to a female presiding officer Saba Maryam at the same place where the missing presiding officers were kept.

The report said two other women from the education department including Zarina, a retired officer of the education department and Zarina Masood, Principal of the Government Christian Girls High School in Hajipura were also involved in the matter.

The report said that Farkhunda pressurized Saba to make a lame excuse of providing a result in delay due to fog. The report further revealed that Zarina Masood was also found at the place where the election results were changed.

Pertinent to mention here that the first inquiry report into the disappearance of polling staff in the Daska by-election has held the returning officers responsible for the rigging, saying that the voting process was sabotaged due to their incompetence.

The 24News TV channel obtained a copy of the inquiry report into the disappearance of 20 presiding officers during the NA-75 Daska by-election held in February this year, blaming district returning officer and returning officer for undermining the polling process. 

PML-N's Nosheen Iftikhar had won the high-stakes Daska NA-75 by-poll, defeating PTI's Ali Asjad Malhi by 16,642 votes. The PML-N candidate had bagged 110,075 votes, while Malhi received 93,433 votes.

The NA-75 seat fell vacant after the death of PML-N MNA Syed Iftikhar ul Hassan alias Zahry Shah in August 2020. The by-poll was delayed for six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The April by-election was the second in less than two months that the constituents of NA-75 Daska had voted to elect an MNA. Last time, the ECP had withheld the results of the February 19 by-poll due to violence, rigging and the disappearance of over 20 presiding officers and later had ordered re-election in the entire constituency. The order was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

The inquiry report has recommended that the inept district returning officer and returning officer should not be given any administrative posts in the future as they lacked the capacity to take on-time decisions.

The report said the police and the administration were aware of the incidents that happened on the polling day but they did not do anything concrete to stop them. The police failed to fulfil its responsibilities, it added.

The inquiry report further said that the Education Department employees deployed on election duty were also involved in the incidents. CEO Education Sialkot Maqbool Ahmad Shakir had also failed to fulfil his duty as he demonstrated incompetence and partiality, the report said and recommended action against Maqbool Shakar.

The report said it had been established that Deputy District Education Officer Farkhanda Yasmeen was responsible for arranging ‘illegal’ meetings at her house. The report proposed criminal proceedings and departmental action against her.

Police officers and personnel were heads over heel involved in illegal activities as they fully tried to ‘influence’ the voting process. They had committed violations of the Police Election Commission’s code of conduct, the report said.

The police officers, the report said, were also responsible for shifting 20 presiding officers to some ‘unknown’ place instead of RO’s office and were involved in forcing them to change the results.

The report also recommended disciplinary action against all the people involved in the rigging. Criminal proceedings were also proposed against the police officers nominated by the presiding officers and departmental action against police officials deployed at the 20 controversial polling stations, the inquiry added.

The report also divulged that some people did not cooperate with the inquiry people and returning officers also banked on lies while answering their questions.

After the CDR report, the presiding officers admitted going to some other place instead of RO’s office.

Reporter Usman Khan