KARACHI: The arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers and registration of a case against its lawmakers for lodging a protest outside the house of disgruntled MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar a day before triggered a serious reaction from the opposition party that staged a sit-in outside the Central Police Office (CPO) on Monday.
The PTI demanded that the inspector general of police (IGP) tender his resignation over his open support of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government.
It all began in the early hours of the day when police arrested three local leaders of the PTI after breaking up the protest outside the MNA’s residence last night and took them to the Clifton police station.
The PTI leaders said they reached the police station soon after the three workers were reported missing and were assured by police that they would release them after having recorded their initial statement.
“But late in the night the police authorities, mainly the Sindh IGP, intervened in the case on the directives of the PPP leadership and ordered registration of an FIR not only against them but also against two of the party MPAs,” said Khurram Sher Zama, the PTI’s parliamentary party leader in the Sindh Assembly.
“This is complete vandalism and abuse of powers by the Sindh government. Above all, what makes it more unfortunate is the fact that the entire illegal exercise is being carried out by the IGP, who has reduced himself to a PPP activist,” he said.
A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, said that the two MPAs — Shahnawaz Jadoon and Saeedullah Afridi — and over 50 unidentified party workers were nominated in the FIR as they hurled threats and used abusive language against MNA Kumar during the protest on Sunday evening.
He said that the FIR was lodged registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 457 (lurking, house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 506-B (criminal intimidation), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or for shorter terms) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
On Monday afternoon, the PTI MPAs gathered outside the CPO and staged a sit-in to protest against registration of the case against the party legislators and workers.
Chanting slogans and carrying placards, they said the IGP had lost credibility for toeing the line of the PPP leadership.
The sit-in led to a traffic mess on main I.I. Chundrigar Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road and Club Road.
M.R. Kyani Road, Sarwar Shaheed Road and Abdullah Haroon Road also became clogged after vehicles were diverted to these routes.