SC questions authorities’ role over Faizabad sit-in

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday cross-questioned government officials on Thursday over a three-week long protest at Faizabad Interchange that paralysed the twin cities.

Taking up a nine-page report submitted by police, Justice Mushir Alam enquired Islamabad Advocate General whether cases have been registered against protesters for possessing explosive material.

To which, the advocate general apprised the bench that seven cases have been registered against protesters for carrying explosives.

Justice Alam said the protesters were carrying batons and teargas shells. “If authorities cannot secure the federal capital, how they will ensure the security to rest of the country,” he asked.

On the occasion, Justice Qazi Faez noted that the religious freedom is being suppressed in the country. “Is it possible for people to talk about Islam in the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan?” he asked. He enquired the deputy attorney general about casualties that took place during a day-long showdown, besides the losses to public and private properties during the protest.

In response, the deputy attorney general said no loss of life was reported during the operation, however, as many as 173 policemen sustained injuries. He said an unsigned Punjab government report suggested property losses worth Rs146 million.

To which, Justice Isa observed that no concerned authority is willing to share details of loss of life during the operation. “The media has reported six casualties,” he remarked.

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