THIRTEEN DEMONSTRATORS were arrested on 30 September, including the general secretary of the left-nationalist National Awami Party (NAP), when police baton-charged and tear-gassed a peaceful demonstration protesting against the extension of the Mangla dam in Pakistani occupied Kashmir (PoK), which will make over 100,000 people homeless.
An anti-dam extension committee had previously rejected the government’s compensation package for the people affected. While the displaced persons will receive a pittance in compensation the ruling classes will feast on the 56 billion rupee project.
The committee called a protest march on 30 September in Mirpur to coincide with the inauguration of a gas supply by general Musharraf, Pakistan’s ruling dictator.
The protesters were confronted by a heavy police and security presence. When they marched to the venue where Musharraf was they were beaten back by police.
Thirteen people were arrested and charged under the draconian "maintenance of public order law-MPO" while a number of demonstrators were beaten up and injured including the leader of NAP, who received head injuries.
On 4 October NAP/NSF (National Student Federation) organised a large rally which travelled through the city area in Mirpur.
Protest demonstrations have been held in different towns in PoK, by activists of NAP/NSF, while protest are being organised abroad including New York and London on 20 October against the arrests.
Send protest letters to:
Pakistan High Commission, 35-36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 9JN.
Tel: 020 7664 9200.
Fax: 020 7664 9224.