Home » Clashes in Chaman: Over 40 Injured Amid Protests Against Border Restrictions

Clashes in Chaman: Over 40 Injured Amid Protests Against Border Restrictions

by Mohammed Ahmed

Chaman, Balochistan – At least 40 individuals, including 17 security personnel, were injured on Thursday during violent clashes in Chaman. The unrest followed the arrest of leaders from a months-long sit-in protest against new border crossing regulations.

The demonstrators, angered by the detention of their leaders, attacked government buildings and installations, demanding their immediate release. The protests led to a shutdown of the city, with rallies and demonstrations spreading across the border town.

The arrested leaders were protesting the government’s decision to require valid passports and visas for crossing the Chaman border, replacing the previous practice of using identity cards.

Clashes and Violence

The violence began when protesters blocked major roads, including the national highway linking Quetta with Kandahar. Security forces, including police, Levies, and Frontier Corps personnel, responded with tear gas to disperse the crowd and clear the barricades.

During the unrest, protesters hurled stones at the Deputy Commissioner’s office and the Frontier Corps headquarters. They also attempted to cut power supplies to the FC fort and disrupted communication systems.

Shahid Rind, a spokesman for the Balochistan government, stated that security forces used rubber bullets to disperse the violent crowd after being attacked. “At least 17 security personnel were injured in clashes while a policeman received a bullet in his hand,” he confirmed.

Local medical sources reported that over 20 protesters were injured by rubber bullets. Dr. Rasheed from the district hospital in Chaman said, “We have received 13 people who were hit by rubber bullets along with other injured.”

Arrests and Aftermath

Law enforcement agencies arrested over four dozen protesters for attacking security forces and government buildings. “As many as 56 people were taken into custody from different areas of Chaman,” security officials confirmed.

Mediation Efforts

By late evening, tribal elders and political leaders mediated negotiations with Chaman Deputy Commissioner Athar Abbas Raja, resulting in the dispersal of protesters and a return to normalcy. However, protest leader Molvi Abdul Manan vowed to continue demonstrations until the arrested leaders were released.

Government Response

In response to the ongoing protests, the Balochistan government decided to open the Badini border crossing in Qila Saifullah district for trade with Afghanistan to mitigate the impact of the Chaman border’s prolonged closure.

Political Reactions

The issue was raised in the National Assembly, with opposition leaders demanding an explanation for the new border restrictions and condemning the violence against protesters. NA Opposition Leader Omar Ayub and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called for easing the restrictions to allow locals to earn their livelihoods.

The NA Speaker assured that efforts would be made to address the protesters’ concerns and alleviate the hardships faced by those reliant on the border crossing for their livelihoods.

Condemnation by Baloch Yakjehti Committee

The Baloch Yakjehti Committee condemned the use of violence against the peaceful sit-in protest. They criticized the state’s response to the legitimate concerns of the Chaman residents and called for solidarity with the protesters. The committee highlighted the human and economic toll of the unrest, emphasizing the need for peaceful resolution and support for the protesters’ demands.

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