Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari on Saturday said a first information report (FIR) had been registered against those who allegedly tried to restrict women's activities at Mardan Sports Complex in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The deputy commissioner had taken notice, the minister said, stressing that women cannot be denied the right to take part in sports competitions.

The incident had come to light on social media a day earlier after Parliamentary Secretary for Law Maleeka Bokhari replied to a video on Twitter showing a letter signed by the director of the Mardan Sports Complex.

"Outdoor female activities of any kind will not take place" in the complex, read the letter, also stating that no one besides staff would be allowed on the premises when females were inside the complex.

In her reply, Bokhari said she would take up the matter with the province's chief minister, inspector general of police and the district administration.

"Barring from using public facilities or being in public places is unconstitutional and illegal. This is not acceptable nor should be tolerated," she added.

The FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered on March 11 at Sheikh Maltoon police station under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public service), 188 (disobedience), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the FIR, the provincial sports department had announced a tournament from March 22 to 25. It said that on March 10, eight to 10 unknown individuals under the leadership of a local media person, identified as Saeed Bacha of B1 News, came to the sports complex and demanded to end the event since they weren't in favour of outdoor games for females in the district.

It added that they also demanded for such events to not be staged in the future.

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