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PPP demands probe into Bahawalnagar firing case

November 17, 2003

ISLAMABAD, Nov 16: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has condemned police firing on people in Bahawalnagar and demanded inquiry into the incident and compensation for the families of those killed and injured in the incident.

Four people were killed and several injured when police opened fire on demonstrators on Thursday protesting against the shooting of a coachman at the hands of robbers in Donga Bonga village in Bahawalnagar.

In a statement on Saturday, the deputy leader of the parliamentary party of the PPP in the National Assembly, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said the incident testified to the fact that the government had lost its writ.

“It is shocking that the police opened fire on unarmed people. It is a symptom of the malaise in which dissent, protest and raising of voice against injustice is stifled by bullets and guns.”

The PPP leader said the local police would not have taken the law into their hands and used machine-guns against the demonstrators if they were not silently encouraged by the culture of using brute force against perceived opponents promoted by the military regime.

Mr Qureshi demanded immediate arrest of those instigating the firing. He said a judicial inquiry must be constituted to probe into the incident and those guilty of overstepping their authority must be brought to book.

“The PPP condoles with the bereaved families and assures them that it will not abandon them in their hour of grief. The party will ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice.”