Police chiefs brief senators about attacks on police, citizens during PTI’s march

Zubair Qureshi

The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday was informed by the Additional Inspector General of Police (AIG), Punjab that 100 police officials were injured and three killed whereas six cars got damaged on May 22 during the PTI’s “Haqeeqi Azadi March.”

Police personnels are also citizens of Pakistan, who enjoy equal constitutional guarantees including the “inviolability of dignity of man”, they said while briefing the senate committee with regard to alleged brutality by the police to impede the ‘Haqeeqi Azaadi March.’

The committee was also informed that 43 FIR’s were registered and 11 people were nominated, 112 were arrested and 204 were granted bail. The Inspector General of Police, Islamabad informed that ICT police only took preventive measures such as anti-riot methods and tear gas to safe guard and secure the life and property of residents of Islamabad for public safety and maintenance of public order, in the light of judgement and orders of the supreme courts.

Senate body on Human Rights met was also briefed on the harassment and brutal assault on parliamentarians and political workers in gross violation of the fundamental freedom guaranteed under the constitution of Pakistan.

The committee noted that the same agenda was discussed previously in the Senate Committee for Interior and the stance on the matter by the relevant departments is the same however the objective behind the matter to be taken up again involved a thorough discussion on violation of fundamental guaranteed rights purely on humanitarian grounds, abstained from politically motivated agendas.

The committee was also of the perspective that no individual cases should be discussed and defended on political rationale as this will not fulfil the spirit of the Human Rights Committee, where every human should be treated equally. The Chairman Committee reiterated that the matter is taken up in order to ensure that the state organizations should work in line with the constitutional guarantees.

The matter was discussed at length and all the representatives of relevant departments gave their views on the subject in hand, arising from the discussion Senator Ifran-ul-Haque Siddique narrated his incident of arrest on 26th July 2019 which according to him had no legal status and was one of its kind. The Chairman Human Rights Committee ordered to conduct an inquiry into the incident and sought report. The committee while sailing through the discussion also reviewed the nature of protest and conduct of the marchers over the years specifically of the year 2014 and during tenures of various governments and gave analysis of each.

The National Commission for Human Rights maintained the view that the fundamental freedom guaranteed under the constitution of Pakistan should not infringe right of an individual to freedom of movement and speech however it should be necessarily within the parameters of law. While discussing the Police behaviours and conduct, the Inspector General of Police said that it is the onuses on the Public that they should behave with the Police the way they want police to get engage with them.

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