ISLAMABAD: A number of students were injured when police baton-charged a group of protesters outside the National Press Club on Tuesday.

Police said that around 20 days ago, a number of university students had come to the press club to protest the disappearance of one of their fellows, Hafiz Baloch, who had disappeared from Khuzdar.

The authorities claimed that the protesters tried to install a tent outside the press club, but were asked not to do so, since security in the capital was on high alert due to the presence of the Australian cricket team in the capital.

According to police, the local assistant commissioner and police negotiated with them, but they ignored the officials’ warnings and tried to install their tent again. In response, police confiscated the tents and other material from them, which led to a physical confrontation between the two sides.

By now, a large number of students and civil society activists — including MNA Mohsin Dawar and lawyer Imaan Mazari — also joined the protesters.

Police said they then had to baton-charge the demonstrators to disperse them, adding that the students also retaliated.

The police finally backed down upon intervention from higher authorities, and returned the tents and other material to the protesting students.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2022

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