RAWALPINDI - As many as 15 members of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) were injured at Pirwadhai area during baton charge and tear gas shelling when police thwarted their attempt to sneak into cordoned off area to reach Darul Aloom Taleem-ul-Quran on Tuesday.
Pakistan Rangers also assisted police in controlling the mob numbering in more than 250. In retaliation, the protestors pelted police party with stones. Some unknown elements also resorted to aerial firing spreading fear in the locality.
Seven injured Abdul Ahad, Naeem Chugtai, Mushtaq, Shahid, Gula Jan, Akbar and Zareen were shifted to Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH). Condition of Naeem was stated to be critical by the doctors. ASWJ leadership condemned police brutality.
According to officials, a group of seminary students and members of ASWJ turned up at Mandi Mor having sticks and bamboos in their hands. They were chanting slogans against a sect and trying to go to DATQ to take part in a conference, which was postponed.
A clash occurred between the police and mob when the protestors tried to break into police cordoned off Dhoke Dalal.
An eyewitness told The Nation that a group of 60 seminary students came from Bangash and Fauji Colony and gathered at Mandi Mor. First, they tried to march towards an Imambargah in I-10 but Islamabad barred them by resorting to baton charge and firing tear gas shells, he said adding that then the mob changed its route and went towards Dhoke Dalal to reach DATQ, the seminary located on the route of procession of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA). They again faced resistance from police and started pelting stones with police party. In retaliation, police fired tear gas shells and hit the mob with batons.
Some unknown protestors also fired gunshots into air. Many injured in the scuffle, the eyewitness told. "I saw many soaking in blood and crying with pain," he added.
ASWJ Islamabad Head Ghulam Mustafa Baloch told media that a total of 15 seminary students were injured by police in torture. He said that condition of four companions were serious.