LAHORE: The Lahore Left Front demonstrated at Simla Pahari on Thursday against the acquittal of Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) officials responsible for the Sahiwal tragedy.

Speakers said that Sahiwal encounter was a heartrending tragedy that left a traumatising impact on society, making the common man wonder about his own and his loved ones’ safety.

The incident, which unveiled the increasingly ‘repressive’ and ‘barbaric’ character of the state, has not occurred in isolation, they said.

They said that the ruling in the Sahiwal tragedy case revealed that the institutions were incapable of affording the common man any form of justice. Now it is upon the shoulders of the workers, women and youth that they condemn the increasing brutality, they said, demanding that those responsible for the killing of innocent citizens must not be freed in any case.

It is high time that the state take strict notice of those who misuse laws to protect the killers by forcing the petitioners to accept money in return for ‘misstatements’ at courts.

They also demanded abolition of all special courts and referring all cases to courts under civil law.

They also sought abolition of the anti-terrorism act, cybercrime act, and other laws that violate democratic freedoms.

It is evident that the family of the deceased was forced to accept a huge amount in return for a statement in favour of the police, he alleged.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2019