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ISLAMABAD: Some 200 clerks were taken into custody by the police from various localities of the capital because they planned to hold a protest on Thursday, the police said.

They were held in the Aabpara, Kohsar and Golra police stations but no legal action was initiated against them and they were released later.

For a few years now, clerks have staged protests before the budget, demanding increases in their salaries and other perks and privileges. According to the police, the protests had turned aggressive the last two years and force had to be used disperse them.

This year, plainclothes police officials were deployed at the areas where the clerks were expected to gather including at the National Press Club, Aabpara Chowk and Golra Chowk. Over 300 clerks gathered at the press club where plainclothes policemen joined them.

A large number of the clerks were rounded up, taken to police vehicles parked nearby and were taken to the Kohsar police station.

The clerks who gathered at the Aabpara Chowk and Golra were also dealt with the same way. A police official told Dawn force was not used against the protestors and that no legal action had been taken against them. He said a majority of those taken into custody were released.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2017