Marchers, arrests spark protests in Balochistan

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A complete shutter-down strike was observed in Khuzdar, Naal and Wadh town while rallies were staged in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan against the police action on participants in the Turbat long march in Islamabad. The road link between Sindh and Punjab remained cut off for several hours as protesters staged sit-ins and held rallies, blocking Quetta-Karachi and Barkhan-Dera Ghazi Khan Highways, Dawn reported.

All shops, markets and shopping centres remained closed in Wadh, Khuzdar and Naal towns. A large number of people, including political workers, members of civil society and human rights activists participated in the protest rallies and sit-ins. In Khuzdar, a sit-in was staged against the arrest of marchers in Islamabad while a protest rally was also taken out in the area in which a large number of women and children took part.

They marched on different roads of Khuzdar, and burnt tyres on the Quetta-Karachi highway to block traffic. They also blocked traffic on roads in Khuzdar, Naal and Wadh areas. The Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) president reached one of the protest rallies to express solidarity with the participants in the Turbat long march. The BNP-M leader condemned the Islamabad Police for thrashing peaceful protesters and arresting them. He demanded immediate release of all those including women and children detained by the police, Dawn reported.

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Students and political activists staged a sit-in on the Sariab Road near Balochistan University. The sit-in led to suspension of traffic on the road.