Punjab University student picked up by 'unidentified men' in Lahore returns home

Published January 30, 2020
A Punjab University student Mohsin Abdali was allegedly picked up by "men in plainclothes" in Lahore early on Thursday morning.  — Photo courtesy Ammar Ali Jan Twitter
A Punjab University student Mohsin Abdali was allegedly picked up by "men in plainclothes" in Lahore early on Thursday morning. — Photo courtesy Ammar Ali Jan Twitter

A Punjab University MPhil student who was allegedly picked up by "unidentified men" in Lahore early on Thursday morning has returned home, his family said.

Mohsin Abdali, who is completing his MPhil in Agricultural Sciences at the university, was allegedly abducted by unidentified men from his residence in Lahore.

An initial report of the incident, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was submitted by Abdali's family to Baghbanpura police station for the offence of kidnapping.

As per the initial report, which appeared to be written by Abdali's brother, 10-12 unidentified men had knocked on the door of their house at 4am. When his father opened the door, all the unidentified men forcefully entered the house on gunpoint.

The report said the men had pushed, shoved and started to hit them and warned that if anyone made noise, they would "kill them".

The complainant said that his brother, who was sleeping in the room, was shaken awake by the men, who hit him, dragged him out on gunpoint and forced him to sit in a car outside the house.

The complainant added that the individuals had reentered their house and taken his brother's laptop, mobile phone as well as his father's phone. He said his brother was kidnapped on gunpoint and taken away.

The complainant requested that action should be taken against the unidentified individuals and his brother should be returned.

A first information report was not immediately filed, but police confirmed that they had received a complaint and said that a probe will be initiated.

The Progressive Students' Collective also issued a statement about the incident and said that at 4am, men in plain clothes broke into Abdali's house in the Shalimar area in Lahore.

"They harassed and abused his family, took away laptops and phones and did not convey on what charge or accusation he was being investigated or picked up for."

As per the PSC, Abdali is a student activist who had organised the Student Solidarity March and the Climate March. They added that his last public appearance prior to his disappearance was a demonstration organised by the Women Democratic Front which called for the release of Awami Workers Party (AWP) activists.

"Progressive student collective members are shocked by the brazen manner in which young peaceful activists are coming under attack. We demand Mohsin's immediate release," the statement read.

The disappearance of Abdali was also trending on Twitter as various individuals expressed concern about his absence.

Lahore-based academic Dr Ammar Ali Jan said they had checked Baghbanpura police station where police said they had no information about Abdali's whereabouts. Additionally, he said Shalimar station police also had no information, adding that it was not their jurisdiction.

The incident comes a day after judicial magistrate Mohammad Shoaib Akhtar sent 23 individuals to Adiala Jail, following their arrest outside Islamabad's National Press Club on Tuesday.

Those arrested include workers and supporters of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement and the AWP, who were taken into custody while they were protesting against the arrest of PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen.

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