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KARACHI: Police on Friday registered a terrorism case against the organisers of a rally staged for the release of Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

The rally was organised by the Tanzeemat-i-Ahle Sunnat, an alliance of certain religious parties, demanding the release of Qadri whose appeal against the death sentence has recently been turned down by the apex court.

Vehicular traffic was suspended on the arterial M. A. Jinnah Road when scores of protesters, mostly students of seminaries, marched towards Numaish from Gurumandir causing a traffic mess on adjoining roads.

In a bid to open the road for traffic, the police baton-charged the protesters and arrested some of them.

A spokesman for the Sunni Tehreek, one of the parties in the alliance, said that the police resorted to a baton charge on “the peaceful rally and arrested several participants”.

He said that a protest sit-in was staged at Numaish for the release of the held workers. “Our leader Shahid Ghori talked to the authorities for the release of workers. We ended our sit-in following the release of the workers,” he added.

However, SP-Jamshed Dr Fahad Ahmed told Dawn that protesters attacked police mobile vans to get their accomplices released. “Some of our men were also injured,” he added.

He said that the police also released the arrested persons, as most of them were small children of seminaries and elderly people.

The Jamshed SP said that the police lodged an FIR against 10 suspects, including ST leader Shahid Ghori, Mufti Abid, Khalid Mahmood, under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 and Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

He said that those nominated in the FIR had been identified through the CCTV footage.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2015