Islamabad Police Warned Against Putting Up Hurdles For Baloch Marchers

IHC observes that the Baloch marchers have a constitutional right to stage a protest demonstration in the federal capital

Islamabad Police Warned Against Putting Up Hurdles For Baloch Marchers

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamer Farooq has warned the Islamabad Police chief against placing any hindrances in the protests by Baloch marchers. 

Chief Justice Farooq further observed that marchers have the constitutional right of demonstration.

He made these remarks while hearing a petition against the arrest of the organizers and participants of the Long March Against Baloch Genocide. 

The petition was filed by rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari. 

During Thursday's urgent hearing, Islamabad Police IG Akbar Nasir Khan appeared before the court. 

He told the court that the protestors had pelted their officers with stones, causing injuries to some people.

The court was further informed that the government had also formed a committee to address the protesters' grievances.

IHC Chief Justice Farooq remarked that the committee matter is not before the court.

He inquired about the status of the 86 marchers the police arrested last night and were named in the petition.

The IG, however, told the court no details were available for the individuals listed.

The chief justice, however, curtly remarked that the police let the protestors stage their protest, which is their constitutional right. 

The court was told that all those who had been nominated in FIRs at the Tarnol Police Station had been released, while those arrested in consequence of an FIR registered at the Kohsar Police Station had been presented before a magistrate.

"Some have been discharged, some have been remanded into judicial custody, and some have been kept for an identity parade," the capital's police chief said.

The IHC CJ then warned the IG against impeding the protests.

The court adjourned further hearings but, before doing so, demanded a report regarding the number of people detained, remanded in judicial custody, and released by tomorrow (December 22).

Meanwhile, Judicial Magistrate Shabbir Bhatti granted bail to 33 Baloch marchers against surety bonds of Rs5,000 each. 

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist working with The Friday Times. He tweets @SabihUlHussnain