Thursday August 11, 2022

SHC restrains police from taking coercive action against JI MPA, activists

August 05, 2022

The Sindh High Court has restrained police from taking any coercive action against Jamaat-e-Islami MPA and other candidates of the party for the upcoming local bodies elections in Karachi in three FIRs lodged against them pertaining to an unlawful assembly and rioting in Lyari.

MPA Syed Abdul Rasheed and others submitted in a petition that JI activists and residents of the area were peacefully protesting against a lack of civic amenities in Lyari, especially after the recent heavy monsoon rains.

They remarked that continuous protests by the people of Lyari caused embarrassment to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, which used state machinery and involved the protesters in false and frivolous cases.

They submitted that police acting on directives of the PPP raided a JI protest camp and arrested the lawmaker and other activists, who had been peacefully registering their protest against the lack of basic amenities in the area. They said they were released after they had been detained at the police station for several hours.

The petitioners said the police had however registered three cases against them at different police stations on July 30 by alleging that they were involved in holding an unlawful assembly and rioting on July 26, 29 and 30.

Their counsel Furrukh Usman said the impugned FIRs showed that there was almost a common concocted story in all the cases, which had been lodged to counter the illegality committed by the police wherein the petitioners were maliciously confined and beaten up during confinement.

He questioned he act of the police working under the Sindh government to dissuade the petitioners and others from contesting the LG elections and to put pressure on them to give up in favour of the candidates fielded by the PPP.

He said it could be examined that the FIRs were registered at three police stations on the same day within a span of one hour regarding identical incidents of blocking a road. The counsel submitted that the petitioners were apprehensive that if they proceeded to hold meetings and canvass people, more FIRs would be registered against them.

The court was requested to quash the FIRs and restrain the police from illegally and indirectly interrupting the election campaign of the petitioners.

A division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, after the preliminary hearing of the petition, issued notices to the advocate general of Sindh, the prosecutor general and others and called their comments on August 30. The court in the meantime restrained the police from taking any coercive action against the petitioners in the FIRs till the next date of the hearing.