Two killed, four injured in Islamabad as car runs over protesters in their sleep

Published May 21, 2024
A man takes photograph of the site where two persons participating in Save Gaza protests were killed after a rashly-driven car ran over them near D-Chowk in Islamabad early Monday morning. The other picture shows the entrance to the Pak Secretariat metro station closed following the incident. — Photos by Mohammad Asim
A man takes photograph of the site where two persons participating in Save Gaza protests were killed after a rashly-driven car ran over them near D-Chowk in Islamabad early Monday morning. The other picture shows the entrance to the Pak Secretariat metro station closed following the incident. — Photos by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: Two persons were killed and four others, including a police inspector, were injured when a speeding car ran over participants of a protest sit-in on the edge of Red Zone early on Monday, police said.

At the time of the incident, the participants of the ‘Save Gaza’ protest were sleeping on a portion of Jinnah Avenue between Express Chowk and the old Parade Ground, the police said. The streetlights of the area were switched off when the incident occurred.

“At around 2:45am, a speeding car appeared on the road, ran over five participants and then crashed into a police barricade and hit the inspector.”

The driver then sped away the car towards Ayub Chowk via Attaturk Avenue. Police deployed on special duty in connection with the protest alerted the control room.

In response, a patrolling team intercepted the car and caught the driver and shifted him to the police station.

A case was later registered at the Kohsar police station under section 322, 337-G, 427 and 279 of Pakistan Penal Code against the car driver, who has been arrested.

The police said Mohammad Roman Sajid and an unidentified man, aged between 40 and 45 years, died on spot while Mohammad Talha Ilyas, Hamad Hassan and Faisal Hayat along with Inspector Ijaz Ahmed were injured.

When contacted, a police spokesman said the cause of the accident was speeding. However, the driver is under investigation and has not been produced in court seeking his remand, he added.

The protest organised by former Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and attended by members of civil society has continued for about a week, he said.

“The participants remain at the site round-the-clock and also sleep on the road. Over two dozen protesters were asleep when the accident happened,” the spokesman added.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2024

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