Quetta SP removed for arresting protesting students

Balochistan CM says appropriate action to be taken against female constable

Mohammad Zafar June 26, 2020
Students arrested by Police. PHOTO: Twitter (@Raza_Shabina)

QUETTA: The Quetta City SP was removed from his post on Thursday for arresting over two dozen student protesters demanding access to the internet.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal confirmed the news in a tweet and said “appropriate action” will also be taken against a female constable for manhandling the female protestors. “No students’ arrest was ordered by the government,” he claimed.

According to the CM, the students were arrested following a “quarrel” with the police but were immediately released.

It is pertinent to note that students in Quetta have been staging demonstrations for the past few weeks under the banner of the Baloch Students Committee. They are protesting against online classes at universities across the province.

On Wednesday, videos of students being arrested during a protest started circulating on social media. The police said that they were taken into custody for staging a demonstration in the Red zone.

The Balochistan government closed all educational institutions in the province in March to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. During this period, many institutes resumed classes online. However, the protesters said that there are some areas in Balochistan where students don’t have access to the internet.

Provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani confirmed the suspension of Superintendent of Police over mishandling with protesting students while departmental action has been ordered against policemen detaining female students.

“Indeed only 25 per cent population in Balochistan has internet access while rest of the province is deprived from internet hence provincial students can’t afford online classes,” Shahwani said while addressing a news conference on Thursday.

He further added that the provincial government is working on efforts to embark educational activities in the province with SOPs but will comply with the decision of the federal government.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2020.


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