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Police action against Baloch protesters draws condemnation

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Karachi, June 14 (IANS) After peaceful Baloch protesters in Karachi were manhandled and detained by the police from outside the Sindh Assembly, almost unanimous condemnation poured in, with journalists, analysts and politicians from across the political divide criticising the violence.

Several videos making the rounds on social media showed the police manhandling and forcefully dispersing them. Around 28 of them were detained, reports Dawn news.

On Sunday, approximately 120 to 130 people, including women, took to the streets near the main gate of the Sindh Assembly against the alleged abduction of two Baloch students of the University of Karachi (KU) by law enforcement agencies.

The two students of KU’s Philosophy Department, Doda Baloch and Ghamshad Baloch, were allegedly taken away from their home near Maskan Chowrangi in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on June 7 and returned home seven days later, Dawn reported.

Their relatives and members of civil society organisations had set up a camp outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) for the last four days.

On Sunday night, they managed to reach the Sindh Assembly’s main gate where they staged a sit-in for the release of the missing students.

Police and district administration held talks with them, persuading them to vacate the place as the provincial legislature’s budget session was scheduled to be held.

South-SSP Asad Raza told Dawn news that the police detained 19 men and nine women as they tried to enter the assembly building.

Founder of the ‘Gwadar rights movement’ and local Jamaat-i-Islami leader Maulana Hidayat-Ur-Rehman, immediately after the police action, announced protests and rallies across Balochistan on Wednesday, Dawn reported..

In a tweet, Rehman condemned the Sindh police for their “shameful role” and “disrespect” towards Baloch women.

“On June 15, we will hold rallies across Balochistan,” he said, instructing the members of his movement to organise peaceful demonstrations in every city of the province.

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