Over 200 protesters booked in Islamabad

Published March 4, 2022
Students and rights activists hold up banners in their camp outside  the National Press Club to protest against disappearance of a student from Khuzdar in Balochistan. — Photo courtesy of Sammi Deen Baloch Twitter
Students and rights activists hold up banners in their camp outside the National Press Club to protest against disappearance of a student from Khuzdar in Balochistan. — Photo courtesy of Sammi Deen Baloch Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Two days after having a physical confrontation with protesters, the police on Thursday booked over 200 students and other rights activists who have set up a camp outside the National Press Club to protest against disappearance of a student from Khuzdar in Balochistan.

The case has been registered at Kohsar police station on the complaint of its own station house officer (SHO) on various charges, including “criminal conspiracy, rioting, unlawful assembly, disobedience, defamation, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace and assault” on the police. Police have, however, sealed the first information report (FIR).

According to the FIR, the protesters allegedly pelted police with stones on March 1 in front of the National Press Club and outside the camp that had been set up by Baloch Student Council led by Dad Shah, Iman Mazari and Qamar Baloch with some 200 students.

The students, mostly from Quaid-i-Azam University, had been protesting over the mysterious disappearance of one of their colleagues Hafiz Baloch three weeks ago from Khuzdar.

It said the protesters installed a tent despite warning by the police, forcing it to confiscate the tent, resulting in a physical clash. Later, the students reached China Chowk by pushing the police and staged a sit-in there and their strength increased gradually.

The police resorted to baton-charge to disperse the students which led to the physical confrontation between them and the police, it said, adding later the SSP operations and the deputy commissioner Islamabad also reached there and held negotiations with the students to maintain law and order.

Six students and two officials of the Anti-Riot Unit of the police were injured in the confrontation.

After the negotiations, their belongings, including the tent, were returned after which the protesters moved to the NPC.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2022

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