KARACHI: Lawyer and activist Mohammad Jibran Nasir, who has been leading protesters in Karachi against activities of the banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), was freed by the police after he had been arrested on Thursday from near the Chief Minister House.
Other civil society activists who had been arrested have now also been released.
The activist tweeted after his release, stating that the govt did not follow the due process of law and had failed to take action against the ASWJ.
Earlier while speaking to Dawn over the telephone, Nasir had said that he had been arrested and accused the government of providing security to members of the ASWJ at a rally today. Nasir had also tweeted about being taken under arrest.
Speaking about Nasir's arrest, DIG South Zone Khalique Shaikh told Dawn that the activist had been "picked up by the police. He was given the option to carry out a peaceful protest but acted violently. He was stopping vehicles passing by; he also got into a scuffle with the police and threw away barricades placed by the authorities".
"This is why we have arrested him," Shaikh said.
Jibran had announced a sit-in today again near the CM House after a rally was organised for Thursday by ASWJ, an organisation banned by the government in Feb 2012.
“The ASWJ organised a rally today under police protection,” the activist said, adding that the security given to the banned group was illegal, compelling him and his fellow protesters to react.
|ASWJ activists during a rally near CM House. -DawnNews screengrab|
Nasir claimed that as soon as he announced his protest, the ASWJ also diverted their rally towards CM House.
“The rally of ASWJ, a banned outfit, is heading towards CM House. Perhaps Sindh government may give more respect and attention to the demands of terrorists,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Speaking to Dawn, Nasir said: “ASWJ has publicly threatened members of the civil society through its Twitter account.”
However, spokesman for ASWJ Umar Muavia has denied Nasir's allegations.
“There was no police protocol with our rally, nor did we threaten Jibran or any other civil society member,” Muavia told Dawn via telephone.
Today's developments come a day after a 31-hour-long sit-in staged by civil society members near the CM House ended with the government accepting the terms put forward by the protesters to publicly ban activities of the ASWJ. The sit-in had been under way at the PIDC intersection where the protest was being staged since Monday over the Shikarpur tragedy.