FAISALABAD: Three relatives of a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate for PP-51 were gunned down allegedly by the supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) on Sunday over an election-related dispute in Chak Jhumra, police said.
The Muzaffar Tatla group, of Chak 185-RB, killed Safdar Bajwa, Ghulam Murtaza, Ali Raza and injured Ihtesham at their outhouse.
Police said the Tatla group had arranged a meeting for PML-N candidates for NA-75 Ghulam Rasool Sahi and PP-51 Azad Ali Tabbasum.
The Safdar Bajwa group which was supporting the PTI exchanged words with the Tatla group but locals intervened into the issue and pacified both sides.
Later, the Tatla group called the members of the Bajwa group, including Safdar Bajwa, Ghulam Murtaza, Ali Raza and Ihtesham at their outhouse to settle the issue. During the talks, the armed people of the Bajwa group opened indiscriminate fire killing Bajwa, Mustafa and Raza on the spot.
Ihtesham sustained bullet injuries and was shifted to hospital where his condition was pronounced stable.
Ajmal Cheema told Dawn that the three deceased were his close relatives who were gunned down over the election dispute.
City Police Officer Raja Riffat Mukhtar said both groups had brief fallout some three days ago but the issue was resolved. He said the bodies had been shifted to morgue for autopsy and action would be taken against the accused people after the registration of a case. He said both parties were trying to resolve the issue but the situation turned ugly resulting into the killing of three people.
Tariq Bajwa, who is contesting as PPP ticket for NA-75, said the incident was the result of a dispute over tickets distribution by the PML-N and the PTI. He said he had tried hard to pacify both sides but his efforts proved futile owing to the negligence of the police. He said the incident could have been avoided if police had taken precautionary measures after both groups had exchanged words three days ago.
He claimed that Bajwa group had also gunned down two people of Tatla group. However, the CPO did not confirm this report.
Bajwa said that the killers had celebrated the murders as they danced at the bodies.