GILGIT: A protest sit-in was staged in Aliabad Hunza here on Monday to demand release of 14 local men, including political leader Baba Jan, who were jailed in 2011 for ‘inciting’ people against the government.

The protesters vowed to continue with the agitation till acceptance of their demand.

The protest was called by Aseeran-i-Hunza Rihaee Committee, a body formed to push for release of the incarcerated leaders.

About 500 male and female political activists from PTI, PPP, PML-N, religious and local organisations and family members of the prisoners gathered at College Chowk in Aliabad Hunza, blocking the Karakoram Highway.

The protesters were holding placards inscribed with different slogans, calling for giving justice to the jailed people.

‘Free 14 sons of Hunza’, chanted the protesters.

The protesters said Baba Jan and 13 other people had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011 for what they said raising voice for the rights of victims of the Attabad lake disaster.

They said it was astonishing that ATA charges had been slapped against the people.

They also demanded provision of justice to the family of a man and his son, who were killed during the alleged police firing in Aliabad.

They demanded making public the findings of the inquiry into the incident.

They said release of ‘innocent’ political prisoners of Hunza was the unanimous demand of all the political and religious parties of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2020

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