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Shehri Tahaffuz March seeks justice for victims of state oppression

Activists and students marched from Charring Cross to Governor House, Lahore, on Sunday to protest Sahiwal fake encounter and activist Arman Loni’s killing allegedly at the hands of police.

The participants of the Shehri Tahaffuz (Citizens’ protection) March were holding placards inscribed with slogans against extra-judicial killings and state oppression.

The protest was jointly organized by Lahore-based organizations Huqooq-e-Khalq Movement and Progressive Students Collective. Earlier, academic and activist Dr Ammar Ali Jan, who was one of the organisers of the Shehri Tahaffuz March, was arrested by the police in a raid at his house in the wee hours of Saturday. He was kept in custody at the Gulberg police station for hours, and released only after activists mobilized and raised voice against the arrest on ground and on social media.

On the occasion, protesters chanted slogans against government and law enforcement agencies over extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. “Killing and abducting people for exercising their democratic right to protest is unacceptable”, they said.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farhatullah Babar was also present at the protest. He urged the Parliament to ensure the implementation of Supreme Court verdict on Faizabad dharna which had asked the intelligence agencies to work ‘within their mandate’. Later, Babar took to Twitter to congratulate the organisers and participants of the march and urged the authorities to pay heed to their demands. “No totting of guns, no wielding of batons [at the protest] but there was fire in eyes of youth difficult to describe. Heed it”, he tweeted.

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