Quetta police book MPAs for rioting

FIR accuses lawmakers of attacking police and issuing threats to them

Our Correspondent June 21, 2021


The Quetta police on Sunday registered an FIR against a number of opposition lawmakers for attacking police personnel and issuing threats to them. 

The FIR was registered at Quetta’s Bijli Road Police Station.

Those nominated in the FIR include Balochistan Assembly Leader of Opposition Malik Sikander Khan and MPAs – Ahmed Nawaz, Akhtar Hussain Langove, Sanaullah Baloch, Shakeela Naveed, Wahid Siddiqui, Hamal Kalmati, Azizullah Agha, Naseer Shahwani, Nasrullah Zehri, Zahid Regi, Akbar Mengal, Asghar Tareen, Haji Nawaz Kakar, Sham Lal, Babu Rahim Mengal and Maulvi Noorullah.

The accused have been booked under Sections 324،337D ،337F ،504 ،188 ،147 ،506B ،147 ،149 ،353 ،186 ،341 ،34, 269M ،270 ،268 and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

At least three protesting MPAs were injured in clashes with police on Friday as opposition lawmakers staged a sit-in outside the provincial assembly to stop the government from presenting the budget.

However, Provincial Finance Minister Zahoor Buledi later presented a Rs584.1 billion budget for the next fiscal year that carried a hefty development stimulus of Rs237.2 billion and a deficit of Rs84.6 billion.
The opposition lawmakers of the JUI-F, BNP-M, PkMAP and independent members along with their supporters had been camping outside the assembly building for the last few days in protest against the coalition government for refusing to allocate development funds for their constituencies.

The opposition parties had blocked national highways passing through many cities and towns of Balochistan, including Quetta, Chagai, Washuk, Kharan and Nushki in protest against the government a day earlier.

They had announced that they would not allow the government to present the budget until their suggested development schemes were made part of the provincial Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next financial year.

The budget session was delayed by at least two hours because of the protest as the opposition lawmakers had locked the assembly gates from inside to prevent the treasury members from entering the building.
The police had to break open the gate of the MPAs Hostel using an armoured vehicle to let the treasury lawmakers enter the assembly.

Three opposition members of the assembly reportedly suffered injuries when they tried to impede the police vehicle from breaking open the gate. They were later identified as Ahmed Nawaz Baloch, Babu Rahim and Abdul Wahid Siddiqui.

Later, the police clashed with the protesters outside the assembly as they refused to clear the premises. The police used batons and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
A few unidentified activists of the opposition parties vandalised the assembly building and attacked the chief minister and some of his cabinet colleagues. The adviser and parliamentary secretary on information suffered slight injuries.

Several hundred policemen had been deployed in and around the assembly and all roads leading to it were closed by parking heavy trucks and fences, causing massive traffic logjam in the provincial capital.
According to the FIR, the lawmakers along with around 200 to 250 rioters had camped outside the assembly building and exhorted people to besiege the assembly building.

These people later closed the gates of the assembly building and pushed and shoved the policemen on duty. It said the police did not retaliate and tried to maintain law and order.

The police told the protestors that gathering of so many people could result in spread of the coronavirus while there was also a threat of terrorism but the protestors did not pay any heed to these requests.

Later, the protestors attacked the police and severely injured a number of policemen including Bahadur Khan, Muhammad Nazeer, Abdul Malik, Alauddin and Saleem Shah while also tearing their uniforms.

The FIR claimed that the protestors also attacked the people coming to attend the session while also violating section 144. An official, Muhammad Bilal, was appointed as investigation officer in the case.

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