QUETTA / MULTAN / RAWALPINDI / KOHAT: Curfew was imposed in Kohat after two persons, including a police official, were killed in another wave of sectarian violence on Sunday.
Three people were also injured in the skirmish when unidentified gunmen opened fire at a procession. Deputy Commissioner Amjid Ali said the firing triggered panic in Bazaar-e-Zargaran. The assailants then moved towards the Tirah Adda area and torched shops.
Amjid said security forces patrolled the city, closed all entry and exit points, and suspended cellular services to avoid further violence. Several suspects were detained in an ensuing search operation by the police.
A jirga of local elders was convened in Amjid’s office where the DIG, commissioner, and security officials were present to discuss the situation and measures of damage control after the sectarian violence.
The jirga was under way until the filing of this report. DC Amjid said the curfew would be lifted around midnight if the situation was under control.
Similarly in Hangu, DC Syed Ahmad Jan imposed a curfew in the city at around 12:30pm in the sensitive areas, causing markets to shut down. However, the curfew was lifted after two hours.
No calm in Rawalpindi
Uncertainty, rumours and panic prevailed in Rawalpindi on Monday after people staged a protest following the death of another seminary student, who had sustained injuries in the Friday violence.
The district administration called a heavy contingent of police, Rangers and army to control the situation in Raja Bazaar and its adjoining areas after the protesters insisted to offer the funeral prayers for the deceased outside the gutted Darul Uloom Taleemul Quran.
The Protesters later clashed with the police, forced the shopkeepers to shut down their businesses, pelted public vehicles with stones. They were later dispersed and a police official told The Express Tribune that the situation was now under control.
Dr Muhammad Ashraf of the DHQ Hospital said the total number of fatalities from Friday’s violence reached 10 after the death of the seminary student. Expressing solidarity with the traders of Madina Market, all the traders and shopkeepers along with Benazir Bhutto Road shut down their businesses in protest.
Multan limping back to normalcy
Normalcy gradually returned to most districts of south Punjab, including Multan, on Monday. However, army remained deployed in Multan and Chishtian, as well as in Sahiwal where a large demonstration was organised by Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. Section 144 was still imposed in Multan, Chishtian and Chichawatni until the filing of this report.
Meanwhile, lawyers boycotted the courts across Punjab in protest against the Rawalpindi violence.
JUI-I protest in Quetta
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Ideological (JUI-I) protested against the Rawalpindi incident and demanded an inquiry into the killings and compensation for the victims.
Source: The Express Tribune