Activist Ammar Ali Jan evades arrest after Lahore DC issues detention order terming him 'danger to public peace'

Published November 27, 2020
Activist Ammar Ali Jan (centre) addresses a student protest in Lahore. — Photo provided by Imran Gabol
Activist Ammar Ali Jan (centre) addresses a student protest in Lahore. — Photo provided by Imran Gabol

Activist Ammar Ali Jan on Friday narrowly escaped arrest from Lahore's Charing Cross, where he was attending a student protest.

The activist had left the protest venue along with his friends in a car which was followed by a police van. Jan's vehicle was stopped by law enforcement officials at Gulberg Main Boulevard, from where he was taken to a police check post.

Following negotiations with policemen, Jan and his friends were allowed to leave with the assurance that they would appear before the station house officer of the Civil Lines police station within two hours.

In a statement to Dawn, however, Jan said that his lawyer would appear on his behalf and the activist will approach the court for pre-arrest bail on Monday.

Jan's arrest orders were issued by the Lahore deputy commissioner on Thursday under Section 3 (power to arrest and detain suspected persons) of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance. According to the order, Jan was a "potential danger to public peace, law and order situation" and must be detained "in order to keep the law and order situation in the city". Under the charge, the activist would remain under arrest for 30 days.

"There is credible information that [Jan], along with his accomplices, will create law and order situation and cause harassment among the general public," the order read. Jan was the only person whose arrest orders were issued.

The Lahore-based academic was attending a protest, which was being held to highlight the issues being faced by students in Pakistan. Every year, students and activists come together to arrange a Student Solidarity March across the country, however, this year a protest was held due to Covid-19.

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