Monday, December 10, 2007

Protests likely to gain momentum

(Courtesy The Dawn)

Over 100 protest demonstrations have been held inthe federal capital territory since emergency rule was proclaimed on November 3 and the trend is likely to intensify, Dawn learnt on Friday. Security sources said the local administration and police haveinformed the federal government that the 108 demonstrations remainedpeaceful and police had to intervene on two occasions only.However they feared the lawyers’ community, journalists, students and representatives of the civil society would mount more protestsin the coming days. Meanwhile the local police have announced that it was innegotiations with these elements on keeping peace and that extra police contingents have been called from Punjab to maintain law and order in the city.Journalists were found to be most active on the anti-government front.

Of the 108 protests recorded so far, 32 were staged by them,followed by the lawyers (28) and the students (19). The civilsociety and the political parties trailed behind them with 15 and 14 protests to their credit. A little over 1,300 protesters were arrested for violating a ban on public gatherings or were taken into preventive detention, like leading lawyers Aitzaz Ahsan and Munir A. Malik and former ISI chiefGen (retired) Hameed Gul.About 130 people, including two women and a child, were hurt inprotest melees. Police recorded all the protests but registered only37 FIRs.

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