OKARA: The district coordination officer (DCO) has imposed Section 144 CrPC across the revenue limits of the district for a month banning the assembly of five or more than five people for public gathering, protest, or to stage a rally causing problems for public.

According to Anjman Mazareen Punjab (AMP) Secretary General Mehar Abdul Sattar, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sucrat Aman Rana had sent a letter to the AMP, asking its leadership not to hold the convention of farmers on April 17 to observe International Peasants Day at village 4/4L.

The letter warned that in case of of violation of the Section 144, the law would take its course.

A blatant violation of human right, says AWP

Our Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: The Awami Workers Party has condemned the ban terming it a blatant violation of human and constitutional right of peaceful assembly.

It said the DCO had warned the AMP of a penal action under the National Action Plan if the activity was not stopped forthwith.

The AWP said the convention was aimed at seeking land rights, a fairer distribution of agricultural resources and an end to state violence against peasants.

It claimed the Okara district administration and police were already running a campaign of violence and victimization against the peasants for the past year in order to undermine their struggle for land rights.

“Four comrades of the AMP are already in prison under trumped-up charges for the ‘crime’ of peaceful protest against police violence and intimidation,” says a press release issued by AWP general secretary Farooq Tariq.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2016