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BAHAWALPUR: A large number of Hindu families protested at the DPO Chowk on Monday to demand recovery of a minor girl allegedly abducted five days ago from the area falling within the Head Rajkan police precincts in Yazman tehsil, about 30 kilometre from here.

The demonstrators, who held banners and placards, claimed 12-year-old Rimshah had been kidnapped by some locals. Head Rajkan police though registered a first information report of the abduction, but had so far failed to recover the girl. In the report, complainant Hari Chand, the father of Rimshah, alleged that Ata Muhammad, Saghir Ahmed and Wazir Bibi had abducted his daughter.

District Police Officer Mustansar Feroze assured the demonstrators that Rimshah would be recovered soon after which the demonstrators dispersed peacefully.

The district police chief’s spokesman told Dawn that a Hindu community delegation was asked to wait for 24 hours for the recovery of the girl.

POSTER DEFACED: A posters featuring images of senior PML-N leadership was defaced with black ink that was pasted for the welcome of party President Shahbaz Sharif, who was scheduled to visit here on Monday but could not make it due to bad weather.

Police sources said the images of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz and MNA Hamza Shahbaz were defaced by unidentified persons on a banner displayed near Bahawal Victoria Hospital on Circular Road.

STRIKE: Activists from the movement for restoration of Bahawalpur province began hunger strike at a camp they set up at Fawara Chowk.

The group was led by Jamaat-i-Islami MPA Syed Waseem Akhtar and joined by Pakistan Kissan Board Senior Vice President Jam Hazoor Bakhsh and Bahawalpur Suba Mahaz chief Nawaz Naji among others. They said they would continue their hunger strike till their demand was accepted.

They told the media that Bahawalpur was 25 per cent larger in area as well as population as compared to Balochistan. Dr Akhtar said he had submitted resolutions for Bahawalpur province 16 times in the Punjab Assembly secretariat but the speaker, allegedly on the orders of the chief minister, never allowed him to move it in any assembly session.

He added that he had submitted the resolution for the 17th time for discussion in the upcoming assembly session.

Bakhsh said a multiparty conference on the issue had been convened on April 18.

PROTEST: Residents of Raidan and Masateen basti near Sadiq Public School protested against the management of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited for stopping gas supply to them for 15 days.

The demonstrators said the company had suspended supply about a fortnight ago on the pretext of system repairs. They said they visited the office and approached the company officials several times, but they did not receive any guarantee. They threatened to take extreme steps if they were not supplied gas soon.

WORKERS CONVENTION: A PML-N workers’ convention, which was to be addressed by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif here Monday, was marred by mismanagement.

Disappointed at Shahbaz being unable to make it personally, some workers from rival groups within the party got into a brawl at the convention venue.

According to witnesses, a group of workers, who were allegedly not assigned seats of their choice, got offended when they found out after waiting for hours that Shahbaz would not be coming over. Another group loyal to the chief minister intervened and both groups indulged in a scuffle.

The situation was witnessed by federal minister Baleeghur Rehman and MNA Ali Hassan Gilani, who tried to pacify the workers, but even the minister was ignored. The scuffle continued at the lunch arranged for the workers.

The chief minister was due here on Monday to address the workers’ convention and inaugurate some projects, but the visit had was postponed due to inclement weather. Later, Shahbaz briefly addressed the convention through video link and regretted the postponement of his visit. He assured the workers that he will visit them soon. The chief minister particularly mentioned that during his visit he had planned to discuss with the workers the Bahawalpur province issue.

Published in Dawn, Aprill 17th, 2018