The Balochistan government imposed on Thursday Section 144 under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for a month in Gwadar, the home ministry confirmed, as the situation in the port city continues to aggravate following a cop’s death during ongoing protests in the port city.
A policeman was martyred during Haq Do Tehreek’s sit-in in Gwadar earlier this week. Following the killing, Home Minister Ziaullah Langau ordered the registration of a first information report (FIR) against Haq Do Tehreek head Maulana Hidayatur Rehman.
The provincial police said that firing by Haq do Tehreek’s protestors led to the martyrdom of constable Yasir Saeed deployed for their protection. The rights movement leader, however, alleged that the police was responsible for the firing.
Under Section 144, rallies, sit-ins, and any other public gathering of over five people have been prohibited. The government has also prohibited the display of weapons.
In response to the constable’s death, the Balochistan chief minister directed law enforcement agencies to arrest the culprits. A report of the incident was sought and instructions were issued to form a special team to arrest the suspects.
“Such incidents are intolerable. An FIR should be filed against Haq do Tehreek chairman,” said the home minister.
Coastal Highway blocked
Last week, the coastal highway was blocked in protest near Gwadar’s Sarbandan after seven Haq do Tehreek supporters, including their leader Hussain Wadala, were arrested by the police.
The protestors are demanding a reduction in check posts, easier border trade, and a total end to deep-sea fish trawling in the sea next to Gwadar.
The HDT has been protesting in Gwadar for nearly eight weeks under the leadership of Maulana Hidayatur Rehman.
Balochistan government spokesperson Farah Azeem had alleged that the protestors tried to shut the Gwadar port, after which the police took action and arrested some of them.
She added that the movement’s attitude is provocative.
Haq Do Tehreek protests
The Haq Do Tehreek protesters in Gwadar have been demanding a reduction in the number of check posts, easier border trade, and a total end to deep-sea fish trawling in the sea next to Gwadar.
The protests have been going for nearly eight weeks under the leadership of Maulana Hidayatur Rehman. The supporters of the movement had earlier blocked coastal highway near Sarbandan after the arrest of their leaders and also announced a strike in Gwadar and a rally in support of the arrested leaders in Pasni.
Rehman also demanded the release of the movement’s arrested leaders and workers.
Last year, a month-long protest demonstration in the port town resulted in some promises by the government but the issues could not be addressed.
The government has again formed a committee to negotiate with the leadership of the movement.
On Sunday, the Balochistan home minister had said they were trying to end the strike and sit-in in Gwadar through talks adding that solutions are always found via dialogue.
He had added that Commissioner Karachi, DIG, and DC Gwadar were instructed to hold talks with the protesters and that they were hopeful of ending the stalemate.