Averting sectarian clash: Scores of a religious group’s activists booked

Published: December 8, 2011
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" There were
possibilities of a
sectarian clash
and the timing of
their rally was very
awkward,"
Senior official of the city admin.  PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

" There were possibilities of a sectarian clash and the timing of their rally was very awkward," Senior official of the city admin. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The capital police on Wednesday booked leaders and activists of an extremist religious group for holding a rally, creating law and order situation and making hate speeches against rival sect on Ashura day.

The Aabpara police registered a case against the leaders of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal-Jamaat (ASWJ) and dozens of activists on multiple charges. However, no arrests were made till the filing of this report.

The activists of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal-Jamaat (ASWJ) on Tuesday scuffled with police when they were stopped from holding a rally outside Lal Masjid (red mosque) on the occasion of Ashura in G-6 sector.

Some senior officers were thrashed by the activist of the extremist religious group based in Jhang district of Punjab.

“There were possibilities of a sectarian clash and the timing of their rally was very awkward,” said a senior official of the city administration requesting not to be named.

He said the ASWJ leadership was requested to postpone their rally but they refused.

The official said that keeping in view the sensitivity of the occasion, the city administration decided to stop the rally. Anti-riot police were deployed at the entry points of the Masjid Road, where over 200 ASWJ activists had gathered. The rally was led by the ASWJ Islamabad chapter chief Ghulam Mustafa Baloch and others.

The activists violated the Loudspeakers Act and their leaders made hate speeches against their rival sect, police sources said.

He added that the Lal Masjid administration had ensured that they would not support the rally.

After Zohr prayers, the ASWJ activists tried to march towards the National Press Club but they were stopped by the anti-riot police at the exit of the mosque road. However, they pushed the police up till Shaheed-i-Millat Road Chowk, scuffled with the police and tried to break through the anti-riot police wall, but they were stopped.

The activists dispersed alleging the administration of discriminating against them.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2011.

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