Relatives of missing persons stage sit-in at D-Chowk

ISLAMABAD: The relatives of the missing persons continued their protest on the second day and staged a sit-in at D-Chowk on Tuesday.

Chairperson of Defence of Human Rights Amna Masood Janjua said that the government has time till the evening to render an apology over police torture on the protesters last evening and to hold a dialogue with the relatives to end the demonstration, else a strict strategy will be announced by the evening. She demanded that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar should apologize personally for the brutal torture by the security personnel on the relatives of the missing persons.

A large number of protesters including children, elders and women are continuing their protest on the second day for the recovery of their beloved family members.

The demonstrators said that they had high hopes that the present government will be able to recover the missing relatives, instead the protesting relatives were subjected to torture by the police force.

They demanded that a case should be initiated in the court if their relatives have been charged, but to keep them away from their families without any news is tormenting for the families.

It may be mentioned that seven civil society activists and five cops were wounded when the police resorted to a baton charge and teargassed the protesters. They were calling for the recovery of missing persons at the D-Chowk and tried to storm the Red Zone.

The Elite Force and Anti Riot Force (ARF) participated in the operation against the agitating people. Amna Masood Janjua and 11 others were arrested.The police refused to obey the order of the area magistrate and assistant commissioner for using force against the agitating persons twice but they insisted they do so. They said the police resorted to a baton-charge and tear-gassing of the mob to stop it in accordance with the decision of the top administrative officers.

The clash between the police and the protesters took place when the protesters started marching towards the Parliament House. The police tried to stop them at the D-Chowk but they tried to move forward through another route, which resulted in a clash after an exchange of harsh words. Some journalists and cameramen were also injured during the clash.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took serious notice and expressed his displeasure over the crackdown by the Islamabad Police on protesters headed by Amna Masood Janjua and ordered their immediate release.

He ordered for the immediate release of the people and directed to take strict action for the officials involved in this unhappy incident.

The Islamabad DC released all activists arrested by the police following the PM’s order. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered an inquiry into the incident. He also suspended two sub divisional police officers (SDPOs), the ASP (City) Yasir Afridi and ASP (Secretariat) Iram, terming them responsible for the incident and asked the DC, who is believed to be responsible for the incident, to conduct an inquiry into the incident.