Police reveal fatigue major reason for failed Faizabad operation:report

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ISLAMABAD: A day before the hearing into the Islamabad sit-in on Wednesday, a report submitted to the Supreme Court (SC) on behalf of Inspector General of Islamabad Police Khalid Khattak, revealed that the police officials had been fatigued as a result of the deployment for the last 20 days or so which affected their productivity, The Express Tribune reported.  Furthermore, the report attributes a mixed deployment of  FC, police and Rangers as an ineffective strategy leading to a failed operation.

Moreover, the report also states that protesters had aroused the religious sentiments of the deployed security personnel through their speeches which led to the security personnel sharing sympathies with the protesters who were subsequently reluctant to conduct action against the demonstrators as per the state orders.

The report is likely to be taken up by an SC bench comprising of Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Thursday when the hearing into suo motu case regarding blockade of roads by the protesters will resume.

As per the Islamabad police, the protesters were full-equipped and highly organised to deal with any action taken against them.  Moreover, the protesters were “highly religiously motivated” and carried pistols, axes, rods, stones, shells and masks, the report revealed further.

“Initially tear gas and water cannon were used but in response, the protesters resisted and assaulted the police with batons and axes, while pelting them with stones. They were also armed with tear gas and used it upon police force,” the report detailed.

After four hours of efforts, nearly 80per cent of the area had been cleared off the protesters. However, in the meantime, workers of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) from adjoining areas of Rawalpindi carrying sticks and axes joined them and launched brutal attacks on the security personnel. Consequently, several officials of the police and other law enforcement agencies were wounded, according to the report.

“Due to severe resistance by the protesters, there was an apprehension of loss of lives so the operation was stopped for some time and force was reassembled to seal all incoming roads and streets so that another attempt could be made with full preparation,” it mentions.

In retaliation to the launched operation, nationwide protests initiated with major road blockage witnessed in major cities of the country. Eventually, the operation was postponed, the report says.

Subsequently, a request was made by the Islamabad district administration to the government to call in the army under Article 245 of the Constitution.

“The ministry of interior assigned Rangers the role of clearing Faizabad from protesters, and requisite notification was issued. By midnight of November 26-27, the issue between the leadership of TLYRA and the government was settled through negotiations and the protesters announced winding up of their sit-in,” says the report.

“The operation was carried out with proper preparation but due to the strong resistance by the protesters and reinforcements by the workers of TLYRA from nearby areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the operation was stopped temporarily to avoid any causality. But upon receipt of information by the competent authority that the countrywide protests had started and problems were occurring in maintaining law & order throughout the country, the operation was stopped as in the developing situation, the government decided to resolve the issue through negotiations in the best interest of the country. The negotiations were started at the highest level and by the midnight of 26/27.11.2017, the issue between leadership of TLYRA and the government was settled,” the report concluded.