Lahore: 6 sent on judicial remand: ATC frees 160 govt employees
LAHORE: An anti–terrorism court on Thursday freed 160 employees, including 13 women, of the Punjab Population Welfare Department and sent six others on judicial remand. Islampura police had detained 153 male and 13 female protesters who staged a demonstration outside the Punjab Civil Secretariat for regularisation of their services and then ransacked chief secretary’s office on Wednesday.
A Special Branch constable was killed and another injured in a stampede after hundreds of protesters broke the main gate and attacked policemen with stones and sticks. After the protesters broke windowpanes and furniture at chief secretary’s office, police baton-charged them, arrested them and locked them up at various police stations.
A case under sections 302, 324, 147, 149, 186, 331, 353 and 440 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 16-Maintenance of Public Order and 7-Anti-Terrorism Act was registered against 2,500 protesters and 15 of them were nominated, on the complaint of secretariat’s estate officer.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Rai Muhammad Tahir told Dawn that police came into action only after the protesters attacked chief secretary’s office for the second time. He said the second attack occurred after the protesters’ leaders held negotiations with the authorities and told their fellows that their demands would be met in a week or so. He said the protesters, however, pressed for issuance of a notification.
The DIG said male protesters apparently pushed women protesters for second attack, which forced police to act aggressively. He asked all unions and associations of government departments to refrain from coming on The Mall, Lower Mall and Jail Road for protests, keeping in view the official ban on protests at these places.