Karachi: Families of Shia missing persons have been staging a sit-in protest in front of President Arif Alvi’s house since twelve days in the scorching heat. The relatives of the forcefully abducted are protesting for the safe recovery of their loved ones.
The sit-in protest started on April 28 outside the president’s house, located on Fatima Jinnah Road in the limits of Bahadurabad police station. After almost twelve days of the protest, no relief was provided from the state’s end. Additionally, police lodged an FIR against the organisers and 250-300 unknown persons for ‘riots’ and ‘waging war’ against the country.
What are the families protesting for?
The protestors are demanding safe recovery of Shia missing persons. 40 have been recently abducted from Sindh, 38 from Karachi and 2 from other parts of the province in like manner.
In addition to the government’s insensitively, media has also maintained complete blackout on the issue.
With demanding protection of their constitutional rights, additionally, the families have requested to produce the abducted in the courts. They maintain that if they are alleged miscreants, evidence should be provided in courts. Courts should decide as the constitution gives everyone the right to a free and fair trial.
What are they booked for?
The law enforcement agencies launched a crackdown against the participants of sit-in protest and apprehended Hasan Raza, one of the organisers. Rashid Rizvi, the head of the Missing Persons’ Relatives Committee, was also arrested. Rizvi vowed not to bow down to pressure.
“We not be deterred by such high-handed tactics of the law enforcers and would continue [their] protest till the recovery of victims of enforced disappearances”.
Arrested for ‘rioting’:
The police have invoked several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against the families of the missing persons. It includes 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against Pakistan), 121-A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 427 (mischief) and 503 (criminal intimidation).
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