Angry protesters in Chaman vandalize DC’s office after camps razed
A group of protesters entered the DC office and ransacked it, damaging furniture, computers and other equipment.

at 9:04 pm
POK and Kashmir News
Thousands of protesters in Chaman

Chaman, June 6: Thousands of protesters on a sit-in for several days in Chaman, Balochistan, on Thursday vandalized the Deputy Commissioner’s office in retaliation against the razing of their protest camps and reopening of the Chaman-Quetta highway.

The incident occurred after the local administration, Frontier Corps and Levies officials conducted an operation to remove all the boulders and barriers from the road, and cleared the protest camps in order to reopen the highway. Some accounts suggested that the camps of the protesters had been set on fire.

The highway, which had been blocked for several days, was reopened by the authorities and hundreds of trucks and other vehicles which had been stranded, managed to cross over.

While the protesters initially dispersed, they later regrouped and attacked the Deputy Commissioner’s office, resulting in damage to the building.

A group of protesters entered the DC office and ransacked it, damaging furniture, computers and other equipment.

Chaman DC Raja Athar Abbas, was targeted during the attack, but escaped unharmed.

Levies personnel apprehended the perpetrators, preventing further violence. An anti-terrorism FIR has been registered against seven attackers.

The protest, which began several days ago, was sparked by the arrest of seven individuals and the filing of terrorism charges against 10 others. The protesters are demanding the release of the arrested individuals and dropping of the terrorism charges.

The initial protest movement in Chaman started after passports and visas became mandatory for traveling through the Spin Boldak crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The situation in Chaman remains tense, with internet services partially suspended. The protesters have set up a new camp outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

In a statement, the district administration said during the anti-polio campaign, an unpleasant incident took place in which some miscreants attacked the polio team and injured two Levies personnel and had also beaten up female polio workers. It further said the deputy commissioner held negotiations with the sit-in committee leader for law and order in Chaman.

However, during the negotiations, some of the protestors attacked Deputy Commissioner Athar Abbas Raja and ransacked his office.

“The protesters have crossed the red line and now FIR would be registered against them on terror charges,” the statement said.

Shahid Rind, a spokesman for the Balochistan government, said the protesters had challenged the writ of the state many times during the past several months. “Provoking the people for revolt against the state in the name of the sit-in is no longer accepted,” he warned and said that action would be taken against such elements, Dawn reported.

Home Minister Mir Zia Ullah Langove asserted that peace would be restored by taking action against the troublemakers. He also mentioned that compensation was being paid to those affected by the border trade and added that the ‘one document regime’ is a “constitutional requirement”.

A spokesperson for the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party also condemned the crackdown on the sit-in, as well as the subsequent arrests. In a statement, he demanded the release of the detained protesters.

The district administration reported that protesters had closed banks, locked down the passport office, shut down the press club, and blocked major roads, creating widespread chaos in the city. To restore peace and order, Levies forces took action against the disruptive elements.