Police turn blind eye to show of arms, incitement to violence


The Jama’at ud Dawa (JuD) rally at the heart of Lahore, The Mall, was a brazen show o f verbal and symbolic poise in front of the city’s police force, who turned a blind eye towards to the open display of arms and incitements to violence made in the rally. The stage was surrounded by several JuD men holding guns while speakers called people to Jihad and instigated the audience for war against India. This open show of aggression was condemned by Lahore’s liberal circles who condemned police for being dormant when people were being incited for violence. Peace activist Diep Syeda said that the Punjab Government is letting Jihadis operate freely. “When we, peace activists come on roads to protest on an issue, police does not let us. But they do not stop those who provoke violence,” she said.Rab Nawaz a lawyer and ‘Khudi’ activist said that the JuD rally was a matter of concern for peace lovers. “These people are motivating youngsters to violence in the name of jihad. They are turning Lahore into a nursery of extremists. We must condemn it at all levels,” he added.Responding to claims of police dormancy, SSP operations Lahore Faisal Ali Rana denied that JuD is banned. He said that police have only been ordered to keep them under observation. On the question of how the rally secured permissions, Faisal said it was upto the DCO to allow or disallow a rally and I do not have any information on whether the DCO allowed it or not. “As far as I know there was no open display of arms,” he said, “if arms had been displayed, police would have taken note.”PTI vice president Ejaz Chuadhry, who spoke at the rally, defended his decision to speak insisting there was no ban on the JuD. DCO Ahad Cheema could not be reached for comments despite several attempts.