GILGIT: At least 10 suspects were rounded up on Monday in connection with a fresh wave of sectarian violence in the area.
The fighting has injured 10 people, including three police officials, over the past three days.
“We have started investigations into the shootings,” SP Sultan Azam told The Express Tribune. The police official ruled out the involvement of foreign elements or banned sectarian organisations in the unrest. “Some disgruntled youth of the area are behind the sectarian-motivated shootings,” he said. The authorities have empowered the paramilitary forces and Gilgit Scouts to act immediately against such criminals. In an attempt to quell the violence, the government has enforced section 144, a law under which a gathering of five or people is prohibited.
Deputy commissioner Asad Zamin told The Express Tribune that the government will not be tolerant towards those disrupting peace in the region. “We have stepped up patrolling and body searches of people entering the city,” he said.
In April, following recurring target killings in the town, the authorities had issued “shoot-to-kill” orders to the police against insurgents disrupting the peace in Gilgit. The orders brought stability back to the region that has a history of sectarian violence.
In January 2005, the killing of a Shia cleric, Agha Ziauddin, had sparked unprecedented violence in Gilgit which left over 100 victims of target killings that year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2010.
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