FIR registered against JUI-F leader, 10 others for disrupting Aurat March in Islamabad

Published March 9, 2020
The rally was being held in a designated area outside the National Press Club when the incident happened. – Dawn.com Photo/File
The rally was being held in a designated area outside the National Press Club when the incident happened. – Dawn.com Photo/File
Stones pelted at Aurat March participants. — Photo from Twitter
Stones pelted at Aurat March participants. — Photo from Twitter

Islamabad's Kohsar Police on Monday registered a case against 12 individuals – including local religious leaders and JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Majeed Hizravi – for trying to disrupt yesterday's Aurat March in the capital.

On Sunday, one person was injured after participants of the march in Islamabad were attacked by some men who shouted slogans and pelted stones at them.

The rally was being held in a designated area outside the National Press Club when the incident happened. Police had to intervene to control the the situation before it escalated.

The first-information report (FIR) — registered in the state's name — invoked Section 147 (Punishment for rioting), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of a common object), 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The FIR names 11 leaders – and 300 to 400 unidentified persons – including Maulana Shabir Ahmed Usmani, Maulana Hafiz Maqsood Ahmed, Maulana Rizwan Makki, Mufti Abdullah, Maulana Abdul Waheed Qasmi, Maulana Abdul Rasheed Tauheedi, Maulana Liaquat Ali Turabi, Maulana Nasir Ahmed, Maulana Asadullah Abbasi, Maulana Abdul Majeed Hizravi and Maulana Abdul Razzaq Haidri.

According to the FIR, the leaders incited violence against participants of Aurat March, after which some people pelted stones at the marchers. The miscreants had illegally occupied the road across the National Press Club, the FIR reads, adding that they also tried to enter the premises of the march by using force against security officials present there.

Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat shared a copy of the FIR on Twitter.

Yesterday, the Islamabad DC had said an FIR would be registered against those who disrupted the Aurat March.

"After inquiry people will be arrested. The Islamabad police worked very hard to ensure that situation stays in control but few elements broke the law and they had no NOC," he wrote on Twitter.

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari had also vowed action against "those who attacked the peaceful protesters with stones, sticks".

Aurat March

The 'Aurat March', as it has come to be known since its first iteration in 2018, was organised by Hum Aurtain — a feminist collective. It has a manifesto demanding basic rights for women in each field of life.

For three years now, it has been organised to coincide with the International Women's Day on March 8.

Last year, the holding of the rally led to a backlash against the organisers and participants for “violating Islamic principles” and “disrespecting women”.

This year, the Lahore and Islamabad high courts received petitions seeking to ban the event all together, terming it "vulgar" and "against the principles of Islam".

While dismissing the petition in the capital, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah Khan said: "It is important that you see the Aurat March in a positive light. On your own, how can you interpret these slogans?"

LHC Chief Justice Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh had also dismissed the petition seeking to ban the march and said “under the law and Constitution of the country, the Aurat March cannot be stopped”.

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