Police Oppression Continues Against Lawyers In Muzaffarabad

22 May 2009
The Indian Express

London: Kashmir National Party Spokesman Dr Shabir Choudhry strongly condemned police action against unarmed civilians, lawyers and journalists in Muzaffarabad which continued on Friday, despite widespread anger and resentment against the authorities. According to confirmed reports, police atrocities against unarmed civilians continued in Muzaffarabad on Friday. On Thursday local police demonstrated their power when they charged against peaceful demonstration which was organised by the lawyers and supported by the civil society of Muzaffarabad. The demonstration was held against officials of Muzaffarabad Development Authority who went out of their way to assert their power and illegally demolished houses belonging to citizens. On orders of the authorities the police used batons and brutally beat up lawyers and members of the civil society, for the ‘crime’ of holding a peaceful demonstration in which dozens of lawyers suffered injuries, and some had their arms broken. According to Abid Kashmiri, a local political activist, there was a widespread anger against the authorities, and members of the civil society arranged a demonstration on Friday in support of lawyers who were brutally beaten up on Thursday. Abid Kashmiri said, ‘the police continued with their oppression against the demonstrators and like yesterday mercilessly beat up unarmed civilians. On Friday apart from lawyers, journalists were also targeted in the police action’. This heavy handed tactics are strongly criticised by human rights organisation and members of the civil society. More than hundred policemen attacked the District Courts and beat up lawyers and used foul language. District and Session Judge Syed Khalid Gilani said it was contravention of law and insult to legal system. He said it looks that police is out of control and there is a serious threat to life and honour of citizens. He said appropriate action will be taken against culprits of this action. Judge Syed Khalid Gilani further said it was this action is condemnable and amounts to state terrorism. Taking notice of this serious development Prime Minister of Pakistani Administered Kashmir, Sardar Mohammed Yaqub Khan expressed his seriously concern about this police action and human rights violations. He immediately set up a committee under the ‘Home Minister’ Raja Sadeeque and ordered him to submit a report within three days. Sardar Yaqub Khan said appropriate action will be taken against the culprits and the government will provide protection to lawyers and journalists. He said it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that justice is done and rule of law prevails.