Islamabad’s Kohsar Police on Monday registered a case against 12 individuals – including local religious leaders and JUI-F’s Maulana Abdul Majeed Hizravi – for trying to disrupt yesterday’s Aurat March within the capital.
On Sunday, one person was injured after participants of the march in Islamabad were attacked by some men who shouted slogans and pelted stones at them.
The rally was being held during a designated area outside the National Press Club when the incident happened. Police had to intervene to regulate the things before it escalated.
The first-information report (FIR) — registered within the state’s name — invoked Section 147 (Punishment for rioting), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of a standard object), 186 (Obstructing employee in discharge of public functions), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (Assault or criminal force to discourage employee from discharge of his duty) of the Pakistan legal code .
The FIR names 12 individuals, including Maulana Shabir Ahmed Usmani, Maulana Hafiz Maqsood Ahmed, Maulana Rizwan Makki, Mufti Abdullah, Maulana Abdul Waheed Qasmi, Maulana Abdul Rasheed Tauheedi, Maulana Liaquat Ali Turabi, Maulana Nasir Ahmed, Maulana Asadullah Abbasi, Maulana Abdul Majeed Hizravi and Maulana Abdul Razzaq Haidri.
The report points out that leaders from various politico-religious parties and students from seminaries had illegally occupied the road across the National Press Club.
According to the FIR, the leaders incited violence against participants of Aurat March, after which some people pelted stones at the marchers. The miscreants also tried to enter the premises of the march by using force against security officials present there, it added.
Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat shared a replica of the FIR on Twitter.
— Deputy Commissioner Islamabad (@dcislamabad) March 9, 2020
Yesterday, the Islamabad DC had said an FIR would be registered against those that disrupted the Aurat March.
“After inquiry people are going to be arrested. The Islamabad police worked very hard to make sure that situation stays on top of things but few elements broke the law and that they had no NOC,” he wrote on Twitter.
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari had also vowed action against “those who attacked the peaceful protesters with stones, sticks”.
Local Administration is taking action against those who attacked the peaceful protestors with stones, sticks etc violating the law. Assured by @dcislamabad
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) March 8, 2020
The ‘Aurat March’, because it has come to be known since its first iteration in 2018, was organised by Hum Aurtain — a feminist collective. it’s a manifesto demanding basic rights for ladies in each field of life.
For three years now, it’s been organised to coincide with the International Women’s Day on March 8.
Last year, the holding of the rally led to a backlash against the organisers and participants for “violating Islamic principles” and “disrespecting women”.
This year, the Lahore and Islamabad high courts received petitions seeking to ban the event all at once , terming it “vulgar” and “against the principles of Islam”.
While dismissing the petition within the capital, Islamabad supreme court judge Athar Minallah Khan said: “It is vital that you simply see the Aurat March during a positive light. On your own, how are you able to interpret these slogans?”
LHC judge Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh had also dismissed the petition seeking to ban the march and said “under the law and Constitution of the country, the Aurat March can’t be stopped”.