Gilgit, December 2: In a high drama case, the Inspector General of Police Gilgit-Baltistan, Usman Zakariya, was released after being held hostage for around 9 hours by angry protesters today in Nomal area of district Gilgit. The release was made possible after negotiations with the protesters who had forwarded a four-point demand to the government for acceptance.
The IGP was taken hostage by hundreds of people in Nomal who were protesting against the arrest of Sheikh Nayar Abbas, MWM leader, Faqeer Shah ( leader of the Anjuman-e-Imamia) and Hasan Shah, a resident of Basin (Khari). The police had also arrested Maulana Attaullah Saqib of the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jammat, while Himayatullah Khan and Maulana Abdullah Haideri had escaped, according to police sources.
Heavy contingents of police were deployed in Nomal to ensure safety of the IGP and his evacuation. However, he was airlifted from Nomal in a helicopter.
The leaders of MWM and ASWJ were, reportedly, arrested under 16-MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) on charges of “illegal sloganeering” in religious and protest gatherings held during the past week.
According to reports, the government had banned raising of certain hateful or controversial slogans during religious gatherings. However, the ban was not taken serious by these leaders and their supporters, which led to their arrest. There are reports that the arrested leaders have been shifted out to the Ghizer district.
Some of the protesters had occupied a power house in the Naltar valley and disconnected electricity supply for the city of around 2 lac people for the whole day.