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FIR Lodged Against DHA, Clifton Protestors Over ‘Inappropriate Language’ Against State Institutions

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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.

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Activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir tweeted:

One user spoke of their relative nominated in the FIR:

Journalists tweeted out their condemnation:

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Naya Daur