KARACHI: Police have registered a terrorism case against over 400 angry protesters, who allegedly attacked Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s motorcade in Lyari on Sunday evening, officials said on Monday.
A group of protesters pelted Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s motorcade with stones in Lyari. They chanted anti-PPP slogans and the atmosphere got charged and could have exacerbated further had the PPP chairman not asked his supporters to refrain from a brawl and change the route.
There were also people who were protesting against water shortage in their area. Some women, while chanting slogans in favour of the PPP, showed containers as a symbol to highlight their demand for the supply of potable water.
The Kalri police registered a case (FIR 183/2018) under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 268 (public nuisance), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
Police say they identified 13 of the 400-450 ‘miscreants’, but made no arrest
The case has been registered on behalf of the state through Kalri SHO Abdul Ghaffar.
The complainant SHO in his statement stated that he was patrolling in the area when he received information that Mr Bhutto-Zardari addressed a rally in connection with his election campaign for NA-246 at Khadda Market at 3.30 pm within the remit of the Baghdadi police station.
Later, he along with other PPP leaders Nabeel Gabol and Javed Nagori was moving in a caravan to address another rally at Hanif Manzil within the remit of the Kalri police station. However, when his caravan reached at Juna Masjid in Hingorabad on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Road at around 5.30pm, the SHO said he received information that the road had been blocked by several persons.
Describing the protesters as “miscreants”, the SHO stated that 13 of them were identified as Haji Bawa, Rafiq Hingoro, Ismail, Naveed, Kamran, Adam, Kashan, Siddiq, Imran, Umar, Kabeer Hingoro, Rasheed Jatt and Karim, who were leading around 400-450 unknown persons. They were armed with stones and sticks.
They had blocked the road to prevent the caravan from moving forward. When he tried to pacify them they reacted negatively and in order to create fear and terror among the people, the “miscreants” started throwing stones and attacked the caravan of Mr Bhutto-Zardari with sticks.
As a result, some people including Yahya Jamil, Amir Baloch and Constable Mohammad Afzal got hurt.
They also damaged police mobiles and other private vehicles.
The police dispersed the mob and got the road cleared at around 6.15pm and let the caravan move forward.
The ‘miscreants’ escaped in congested streets.
The SHO told Dawn that no one had been arrested so far and the police would probe further about their possible political affiliation after their arrest.
He, however, conceded that certain people were angry with performance of their lawmakers during the last five years as their near and dear ones were killed while their civic issues, such as water and electricity, were not addressed.
DIG South Javed Alam Odho told Dawn that everyone had a right to protest but it should be carried out within the bounds of decency and law.
He said the authorities decided to take strict action against those who resorted to take the law into their hands.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2018