FIR Lodged Against DHA, Clifton Protestors Over ‘Inappropriate Language’ Against State Institutions
In the latest development since people affected by Karachi’s torrential monsoon rains began demanding action authorities in charge of the city’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Clifton areas, a First Investigation Report (FIR) has been registered against protesters.
Based on the complaint of Munawar Hasan, building and security supervisor for the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC), the FIR has been registered against 22 named and other unidentified individuals who protested outside the CBC office on Monday, the 31st of August 2020. The charges against protesters fall under Sections 353, 148, 147, 506 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) – referring to offences that include assault, rioting and criminal intimidation.
In the complainant’s version of events, some 40-50 “peaceful residents” were later joined by 30-35 “miscreants.” The complainant accuses them of having spread fear, used “inappropriate language” against state institutions, harassed officials and hindered their work. These protesters are accused of having broken into the CBC office, resulting in damage to glass and flower pots.
Protesters on Monday had voiced a list of demands that included urgent action to reverse the effects of flooding, a restoration of power and gas supplies, the reconstruction of infrastructure and drainage and the accountability of officials – including a forensic audit of the accounts of the DHA and CBC authorities. Some irate protesters are reported to have scaled the CBC office gate to force it open and organized a sit-in, calling for officials to be held accountable for the damage to their property.
News of the FIR against protesters has led to yet more criticism against the authorities on social media.
Activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir tweeted:
DHA/CBC is officially an extortion racket. FIR registered against those who protested for their due rights. DHA/CBC will tax you and not give you any services and if you protest you will be harassed with criminal action. We are not paying taxes we are paying extortion money. pic.twitter.com/0RjGLuKcGu
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) September 2, 2020
One user spoke of their relative nominated in the FIR:
My uncle is nominated in this FIR. He is a guardian of two elderly women, both grandmothers of his children who are above 90 and require medical care. One of them is paralysed. There was no electricity in his area for over 48 hours. The streets flooded and sewerage water https://t.co/k0qBv7TNs7
— Ali Rizvi (@Rizvinator) September 2, 2020
Journalists tweeted out their condemnation:
This is pathetic. Try to get an FIR registered with video proof of theft and they’ll refuse and delay as much as they can. Why was this FIR registered so quickly? Stop intimidating residents asking for accountability. https://t.co/d6Eb8Z9s5h
— p̳̏̉͢o̦̭̎̊p̦̃å͓̝͐l̢̛̼̦͇̽̔͋z̠̓̅͜á͍̰͎̈͌i ? (@spopalzai) September 2, 2020
Irony just died… Where are those who thought that now that the messiah was in town everything would be ok? Hor choopo #DHACares about saving its ass-ets.. not about tax paying citizens who were protesting according to their constitutional rights @MJibranNasir @saynotoweapons pic.twitter.com/R3hup2yUyn
— afia salam (@afiasalam) September 2, 2020