Protester faces public nuisance charges

He had burnt his motorcycle and furniture in protests at Governor’s House.


Our Correspondent July 19, 2012

LAHORE:


A man who burnt his bike, and a week later some furniture, in protests outside Governor’s House was arrested on Thursday morning on public nuisance charges.


Muhammad Zaheer and his son Salman Zaheer were later released on bail by Special Magistrate Munawwar Hussain.

Zaheer, a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporter, had set his motorcycle ablaze outside Governor’s House on May 21, hoping to gain the attention of Governor Sardar Latif Khosa. His novel protest got him a meeting with the governor’s political adviser, Tanveer Butt, as well as coverage in the news.

Zaheer had said he was protesting against the Hafeez Centre administration for repossessing a canteen that he had been running on contract. Officials from the administration said they had done so because he had not paid his bills.

On May 29, Zaheer and his sons protested again outside Governor’s House against “false promises”, this time by setting his furniture on fire. Civil Lines police then registered a case against Muhammad Zaheer and Salman Zaheer under Sections 290 (causing a public nuisance), 291 (continuing a public nuisance despite injunction to stop), 427 (mischief causing damage) and 188 (disobeying a public servant’s order) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

A police team led by Assistant Sub Inspector Akbar Shah raided Zaheer’s house at 4am on Thursday and arrested him and his son. Zaheer said that during the raid, the police broke the main gate to his house.

Zaheer told The Express Tribune that on June 11, PPP leader Naheed Khan came to his house and assured him that she would help him and his family, but no help had been forthcoming. He said that he had been a PPP activist for 37 years but the party was not looking after him. He said that he was selling furniture and electronic appliances from his house to get money for food. He said that he had burnt some of his furniture to get attention as he felt he had no other option.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.

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