Police gratuitous violence on demonstrators in Rawalakot, dozens injured

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RAWALAKOT: Protests against Highways Department and bureaucracy became a crime, Rawalpindi police broke vehicles using batons, tear gas and water cannons in a crack down against peaceful protest by citizens.

According to details, a large number of people in the area protested against the construction of the tourist destination on Lasdana Tuli Pir Road, deviating from the departmental specifications. Despite snowfall and heavy rains, hundreds of protesters from adjoining areas reached Rawalakot city and hold a protest against change in the plan. The people staged a protest rally and demanded that Tuli Pir Road be constructed with a width of 24 feet as per the initial notification.

Protesters try to set a rally outside the commissioner’s office Masaud ur Rehman of tail division, while, dozens of people were injured including senior citizens, when police brutally charged baton the protesters.

On the other hand, according to the district administration, the people of Khaigala and adjoining villages tried to enter the district complex in protest of the construction of Toli Pir Las Dinh Road in the name of Awami Ittehad Khai Galla. The protesters were ordered to keep their protest peaceful and to pass on their demands through delegation to Deputy Commissioner and  Commissioner of Poonch district, but the  protesters turned violent and attacked and pelted stones on the police.

However, upon the orders of duty megistrate the protesters were prevented from damaging government property and disturbing public order by using light baton charges, according to administration.

According to the district administration, earlier four rounds of talks were held with the delegations representing the people of the area and they were offered all kinds of assistance. The delegation was informed that their  would be provided full facility for talks at all levels including PM Azad Kashmir. While informing the people about the issue, it was clarified that the administration has nothing to do with this issue, the plan has been changed from Muzaffarabad.

Administrative officials have maintained that the public representatives were assured that their demands had been conveyed to the higher authorities, including members of the Legislative Assembly and political leaders in the constituency, and that the issue would be raised in the Legislative Assembly.

Therefore, there is no justification for the siege of the commissioner’s office and no one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands. Today, the protesters not only surrounded the commissioner’s office but also tried to break the main gate, forcing the police to use light batons have been used to disperse the mob.

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