ISLAMABAD: Dozens of people were injured as police baton changed and fired tear gas shell with protesters and arrested scores of opposition activists as they tried to march to the Supreme Court and the Election Commission office against President Pervez Musharraf`s re-election bid. The protesters were injured several of them lawyers and journalists as police used batons and tear gas shells to disperse about a thousand slogan shouting lawyers and political activists who broke barricades and moved to the Supreme Court building.
The protesters, who were angry at the apex courts` ruling allowing Musharraf to contest the election in uniform and were chanting “go Musharraf, go”, also tried to approach the Election Commission that began scrutiny of nomination papers of the General president and other Presidential candidates for the October 6 poll. Several senior lawyers, including Ali Ahmed Kurd, were arrested when they tried to enter the building of the Election Commission, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Munir A Malik said.
The clashes came as Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who had filed nomination papers for Musharraf on Thursday, visited the office of Chief Election Commissioner to witness the scrutiny of nomination papers. The police also prevented activists of opposition Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim League-N parties from marching towards the office of Chief Election Commissioner. An opposition member of Parliament Khwaja Muhamamd Asif said that political activists were arrested and taken to police stations in Islamabad. Journalists and cameramen were also beaten up while they were covering the protests.
The Supreme Court had yesterday rejected opposition’s petitions contesting Pervez Musharraf`s right to seek another term as president while remaining as Army Chief. Camera of a private TV channel “Royal” was broken by the police. The opposition parties and lawyers rejected the court verdict and said they will file a review petition. The authorities had erected barbed wires outside the building of Election Commission in Islamabad and only allowed the Presidential candidates, their proposers and seconders as well as their lawyers to enter the building.-SANA