Karachi police detain several PTI workers participating in bike rally

As several PTI members reached Nursery on motorcycles to express solidarity with their leader, Imran Khan, police detained some of them. The PTI’s spokesperson Falak Almas said that police also resorted to baton-charge.


Policemen in Karachi detain PTI members participating in a bike rally to express solidarity with PTI chief Imran Khan on August 27. PHOTO: DAWN

August 28, 2023

ISLAMABADKarachi police detained several members of the PTI on Sunday who the party said had reached the city’s Numaish Chowrangi area while participating in a bike rally organised to express solidarity with incarcerated PTI chief Imran Khan.

Soldier Bazaar Station House Officer (SHO) Pir Shabbir Haider confirmed to Dawn.com that police had detained 20-25 people from the spot “just to disperse them to avoid traffic congestion in the busy area”.

The PTI leadership in Karachi had given the call for the rally on Saturday as part of a larger countrywide event.

“Solidarity rally with Imran Khan, who is currently facing unjust treatment in Attock jail. It is disheartening to see his fundamental rights being violated, with the jail manual not being implemented in his case. We invite all Karachites to stand together and raise [their] voice for Khan,” Khurram Sher Zaman, president of the PTI’s Karachi chapter, had posted on X (formerly Twitter) a day ago.

Another post on his account said the rally would be taken out from Nursery to the Quaid’s Mausoleum.

Imran was arrested on August 5 after an Islamabad trial court declared him guilty of “corrupt practices” in the Toshakhana case and sentenced him to three years in prison. He was moved to Attock jail after his arrest, and his party has raised concerns regarding living conditions in the prison since.

As several PTI members reached Nursery on motorcycles to express solidarity with their leader today, police detained some of them, the PTI’s spokesperson in Karachi Falak Almas told Dawn.com, saying that police also resorted to baton-charge.

“However, the party workers remained undeterred despite police action and reached the Quaid’s Mausoleum near Numaish Chowrangi,” she said, adding that some of the members were taken into police custody from there as well.

Almas put the number of detained party workers at 30-35.

Meanwhile, Zaman claimed police had detained over 140 workers since last night and from the rally.

“What happened to the right to assemble and participate in a peaceful rally?” he questioned on X, where he also posted a video of police baton-charging people purportedly participating in Sunday’s rally.

In a separate statement, Zaman said that Sindh police had baton-charged the rally participants, saying that “scaring and harassing” the participants of the rally was a “shameful act”.

“What message do Sindh police want to give by violating democratic norms? Sindh police need to mend their ways,” he added

However, SHO Haider denied baton-charging the rally participants.

While footage played on DawnNewsTV did not show any of the policemen hitting a rally participant with a baton, law enforcers could be seen carrying batons.

Photos from the event also made the use of force by police evident.

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