Police reveal reasons behind botched Islamabad operation against protesters

  • 'Police force was fatigued due to prolonged deployment for last many days'
  • Protesters provoked religious sentiments of law enforcers causing hurdle in effective utilisation of men
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad police have submitted a report regarding Faizabad sit-in staged by religious groups to the Supreme Court citing causes of the failure of the operation launched last week to clear the area.

The report, which has been submitted on the behalf of Inspector General of Islamabad Police Khalid Khattak in a suo moto case, revealed that the protesters of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasoolallah incited the religious sentiments of the troopers, who had been deployed for operation, creating hurdle in effective utilisation of law enforcers.

A divisional bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, will take up the report today (Thursday) of the suo moto case on the blockade of roads by the agitators. At the last hearing on Nov 23, the court had summoned reports from the authorities concerned.

The report added that the security personnel who launched the operation against the protester were tired due to prolonged deployment for last many days.

“Police force was fatigued due to prolonged deployment for last many days. Mixed deployment of different forces i.e. FC and Rangers also had negative effects on productivity. Religious sentiments of the men deployed for the operation were provoked by the protesters through their speeches, thus making them a hurdle in effective utilisation of men,” says the police report.

The police report highlighted that the protesters were fully equipped with pistols, batons, axes, etc. and highly religiously motivated, adding that they had also cut wires of all security camera installed around the area.

The report also slammed media for doing live coverage of the operation due to which supporters of the Tehreek from adjoining areas of Rawalpindi reached the site when the operation was launched.

It added that the security forces had managed to clear 80 percent of the area but in the meantime, workers of the religious party armed with axes; pistols joined the protester and launched the violent attack on the police leaving many personnel injured.

“Due to severe resistance by the protesters, there was an apprehension of loss of lives so the operation was stopped for some time and force was reassembled to seal all incoming roads and streets so that another attempt could be made with full preparation,” it says.

As the operation was launched, the religious groups took to streets across the country and blocked the main roads. Subsequently, the operation was stooped, the report says.

Following the strong resistance, the district administration asked the government for calling out the army under Article 245 of the Constitution.

The report says, “The ministry of interior assigned Rangers the role of clearing Faizabad from protesters, and requisite notification was issued. By midnight of November 26-27, the issue between the leadership of TLYRA and the government was settled through negotiations and the protesters announced winding up of their sit-in”.

It stated that the police registered 27 cases from Nov 8 to 25 against 418 agitators, adding that the challans against them were being sent to the courts concerned for trial.

According to the report, 5,508 security officials had been deployed for the operation without any firearm. Around 173 were injured by the religious protesters and no any government official or other person died during the operation.

The police report adds, “The operation was carried out with proper preparation but due to the strong resistance by the protesters and reinforcements by the workers of TLYRA from nearby areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the operation was stopped temporarily to avoid any causality. But upon receipt of information by the competent authority that the countrywide protests had started and problems were occurring in maintaining law & order throughout the country, the operation was stopped as in the developing situation, the government decided to resolve the issue through negotiations in the best interest of the country. The negotiations were started at the highest level and by the midnight of 26/27.11.2017, the issue between leadership of TLYRA and the government was settled.”