Two held for beating up BRT guards, more arrests to follow

Published August 15, 2020
Commuters wait for the bus at Hashtnagri BRT station in Peshawar on Friday. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya
Commuters wait for the bus at Hashtnagri BRT station in Peshawar on Friday. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya

PESHAWAR: The police have arrested two people for trespassing on the Bus Rapid Transit corridor and beating up guards.The people had taken to the streets on Thursday night in large numbers to celebrate the Independence Day. Many of them entered the BRT corridor and beat up guards for stopping them.

A police official said that two of the trespassers were arrested after identification by the closed-circuit television camera footage.

He said the identification of other mobsters was under way.

The official said the police had registered an FIR against the accused under Pakistan Penal Code sections 337(A2), 337(F2), 427 and 506 for the injuries and criminal intimidation of guards, and damage to BRT property.

He said the police had received a formal request from the relevant department for action against BRT corridor trespassers.

Police say authorities have sought action against corridor trespassers

However, an official of the Hashtnagri police station claimed that no one was injured in the incident.

Earlier, TransPeshawar chief executive officer Fayyaz Khan told Dawn that the company was gathering details of the incident for legal action.

TransPeshawar, the government-owned company, has been formed to manage the BRT operations.

A spokesman for the company said the mob didn’t damage the BRT machinery.

“We’re carrying out surveillance. The situation is under control,” he said.

The spokesman said some revellers behaved badly with the company’s guards.

He, however, said the people had been thronging BRT stations since the bus service was launched on Thursday afternoon.

“The situation is likely to normalise within a couple of days,” he said.

In a post on its Facebook page, the company said incidents had been recorded at stations and buses since Thursday.

“We are monitoring every minute of the service and shall inform everyone that ZU Peshawar services are designed to cater transport needs for the public,” it said, adding that in coordination with the security forces, they will take strict action against the culprits and wrongdoers. “Please take responsibility to protect this service and avoid any damages,” it said.

Videos shared on social media showed a large number of people enter the BRT corridor on the GT Road and many beat up guards.

The torn uniforms and bruised faces of guards were visible in pictures shared on social media.

Some trespassers were heard urge the crowd beat up guards. Some gunshots were also heard. However, it was not clear who fired bullets.

A video showed a large number of people jump over closed fare gates at a BRT station.Prime Minister Imran Khan had formally launched the much-delayed BRT project on Thursday afternoon before the bus service was opened to people at around 5pm. Thereafter, a large number of commuters showed up at BRT stations across the city to enjoy the ride despite scorching heat.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2020


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