40 Shia Arrested in Clashes with Police
ISLAMABAD: Police on Tuesday arrested forty participants of a Muharram procession held outside Imambargah Hassan in G-10 for not having permission of the city administration.
On Tuesday afternoon, the main service road of Sector G-10/4 remained a battleground as clashes between police and Shia protesters continued for three hours. Later at night, negotiations concluded successfully and police vacated the area.
Earlier, members gathered at the imambargah insisted on holding a procession from the house of Syed Kausar Abbas, a local resident. When police did not allow them to do it resulted in a protest which was unsuccessfully quelled with a baton-charge and teargas. Police cordoned off the street where the participants wanted to start the procession however, the protesters gathered at the imambargah and decided to do so.
During the clashes, at least 200 police officers were deputed along with rangers personnel who assisted in keeping the protesters at bay.
Procession participants chanted slogans against the administration of denying them their ‘rights’. At one stage protesters divided into two groups as one insisted on stopping the procession while the other was not willing to disperse.
IGP Tahir Alam Khan and SSP Operations Sajid Kiani also visited the site. Kiani said that Shia protesters were arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) 1960 and for violations of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The official said in 2013 and 2014 the same protesters created a problem for the administration and tried to hold a procession without permission.
He said residents have objections over the procession route therefore the city administration did not give them the permission.
On the other hand, Asghar Ali, caretaker of the imambargah, claimed the procession is an old tradition and their ‘right’.
Additional DC (General) Abdus Sattar Essani said that outsiders gathered at Kausar’s house to hold the procession. He said participants came from Chakwal and the actual owner of the house did not personally approach the administration for permission.
Later, in the evening, negotiations between the DC and protesters succeeded in the latter’s peaceful dispersal.
Late night, police registered a case against the protesters under Section 188 of Pakistan Penal Code.
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