Zulfiqar Mirza storms police station, booked under terror law

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  • Police register FIR against estranged PPP leader, aides for damaging police property
  • Mirza says cases won’t stop him from pursuing illegal cases against supporters
  • Badin tense as PPP leaders call strike against Mirza’s ‘hooliganism’

The police registered a first information report (FIR) against former Sindh home minister and estranged Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and his aides under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) on Sunday after he stormed a local police station and broke the cell phone and table glass of the deputy superintendent of police (DSP).

FIR No 157, filed by local traders’ leader Imtiaz Memon, was registered under sections 365, 395, 324, 337 H2 of the PPC and sections 6 and 7 of the ATA against Zulfiqar Mirza, 26 identified and 60 unidentified people at Badin Model Police Station. Dilber Sindhi, Peroze Shahani and Abdul Wahid Chandio are among those nominated in the FIR.

Earlier on Sunday, the situation in Badin turned tense when Mirza, along with hundreds of his supporters, besieged the Model Police Station to register a case against alleged police excesses against his supporters in the Badin district.

Mirza alleged that his aide Nadeem Mughal had been taken into detention illegally and that was why he had gone to the police station with his supporters. He asked police officials to lodge an FIR based on complaints made by his aide Nadeem against PPP MNA Sardar Kamal Khan Chang, PPP Badin General Secretary Aziz Memon, Taj Mohammad Mallah, traders’ leader Imtiaz Ahmed Memon, and other PPP leaders and police officials.

Mughal was allegedly arrested by the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) for unknown charges but was later released after a protest by supporters.

Prior to his entry into the police station, Mirza’s supporters and guards forcibly shut down shops owned by Taj Mohammad Mallah and Imtiaz Ahmed. Both Mallah and Ahmed recently joined the PPP during Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah’s visit to Badin a few days ago.

Mirza claims that Mughal was whisked away on the behest of those he had lodged complaints against. While speaking to media, he said he would go to any extreme to protect his supporters from those he referred to as “wolves”.

Mirza warned former president Asif Ali Zardari and functionaries of the Sindh government to bridle their leaders, and made it clear he was ready to be arrested for his cause.

Mirza and his supporters dispersed from the police station after the police’s refusal to register an FIR.

Following calls from PPP leaders, all shops and business centres in the area were shut down, while hundreds of workers staged a rally against what they referred to as “terrorism” by the disowned PPP leader Zulfiqar Mirza and his supporters.

Taj Mohammad Mallah, Imtiaz Ahmed Memon and others strongly demanded the registration of an FIR against Mirza under the ATA.

During the rally, some miscreants resorted to aerial firing, creating panic in the area. A heavy contingent of police and other law enforcement agencies were deployed in the city to prevent any untoward incident.

MNA Sardar Kamal Chang strongly condemned Mirza’s actions, saying that PPP supporters would resist such “acts of terrorism.” He alleged that Mirza behaved like a “dacoit, breaking the locks of shops and smashing the gate of a police station”.

Chang said he was on his way to Badin to rectify the situation as, according to him, infuriated PPP workers had threatened to torch and besiege Mirza’s farmhouse at Mourjhar.

Later in the day, two more FIRs were registered against Mirza and 33 of his supporters on similar charges.

Heavy contingents of police from Hyderabad, Tharparkar, Sujawal, Thatta, Tando Mohammad Khan and other areas began arriving in Badin under supervision of SSPs.

Sources said a raid could be conducted at Mirza’s farmhouse at Mourjhar later on Sunday night to arrest him.

The police has so far arrested four of Mirza’s accomplices, according to reports.

Earlier, MNA Sardar Kamal Khan Chang along with MPAs Mohammad Nawaz Chandio, Mir Allah Bux Talpur and local PPP leaders Dr Aziz Memon and Nadir Hussain Khowaja addressed a press conference demanding Mirza’s immediate arrest.

They also requested their party leadership to serve notices to Mirza’s wife MNA Dr Fehmida Mirza and their son MPA Barrister Husnain Mirza to clarify whether they stood with Zulfiqar Mirza or the PPP.

PPP LASHES OUT:

On other hand, PPP leaders lashed out Zulfiqar Mirza saying that disgraced leader had been defaming the party since long time.

The PPP Women Wing, comprising Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, Sharmeela Farooqi and other women workers of the party, in a press conference said that Mirza did not have even his own clothes. He should be thankful to Asif Ali Zardari for everything he possesses today,  said Shehla Raza, adding that Mirza is like a “rebellious bird which did not have anything of his own”.

“It was the party which made him Sindh minister, her wife Dr Fehmida Mirza the speaker of National Assembly and also his son an MPA.”

Moreover, Sharmeela Farooqi said that keeping mustaches is not a criterion of proving one’s masculinity. “Brave men don’t disrespect women.”

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