PESHAWAR  - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly surroundings turned into a battlefield as activists of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam - Fazl (JUI-F) clashed with police and journalists to resist the bill aimed at endorsing merger of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas with the province.

The protest rally was led by JUI-F Fata chief Abdul Shakoor, JUI-F KP Information Secretary Abdul Jalil, Atifur Rahman, Maulana Jamaluddin and others. The protesters besieged the assembly premises and chanted full-throated slogans against PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz governments.

Stick-wielding and stone-pelting protesters tried to lock entry gate of the assembly. When police stopped them from doing so, the protesters scuffled with the cops and started hurling stones towards them, which resulted in injuring 15 personnel of the police.

The police fired teargas and baton-charged JUI-F workers, pushing the protesters towards Firdos Chowk where they started beating the BRT labourers and snatched pistol from one of the BRT workers. The protesters looted shops in Firdos Chowk area and blocked road for vehicular traffic. The protesters burnt tyres and blocked road to disrupt the traffic. The police launched a crackdown and arrested 11 protesters during the clashes.

The protesters also damaged satellite news gathering vans of some private news channels with sticks and stones. The protesters said that they would not allow the KP Assembly to pass the bill for the merger of Fata in KP. 

Meanwhile, Peshawar Press Club and Khyber Union of Journalists have condemned attacks on media persons and DSNGs and demanded of the government and JUI-F leadership to take action against people responsible for the act. The meeting was attended by President Peshawar Press Club Alamgir Khan and President Khyber Union of Journalists Saifulul Islam Saifi.

A joint meeting of Peshawar Press Club and Khyber Union of Journalists has also been convened today (May 28) to fix responsibility of the attack on mediamen. The journalist community has expressed grave concern over violence against media persons and damage caused to their DSNGs.

The meeting will decide future line of action against JUI-F and would take important decisions to protect the lives and properties of the journalist community.