The Model Town massacre – the blood that still awaits justice

On June 17th, 2014 a tragedy unfolded at Minhaj-ul-Quran Lahore office remains one of the most heinous crimes in the history of state terrorism in Pakistan. This atrocity was carried out by Punjab police, which acted at the behest of government, against the innocent, unarmed and peaceful workers of Minhaj-ul-Quran. The final death toll of 14 citizens included 2 pregnant women, youth and elderly. Punjab police’s brutality injured over a hundred people and left most of them disabled for the rest of their lives.

It was June 16, a few days before the return of Tahir-ul-Qadri. Lahore police tried to remove the barricades from outside his residence. The PAT and Minhaj workers resisted the move and the situation turned ugly in no time.

The one-judge judicial commission comprising Justice Baqir Ali Najfi of the Lahore High Court held the Punjab government “directly responsible” for the bloodbath at Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town. It was further revealed that Minhaj-ul-Quran workers hurled stones at police and in return they were fired upon. Police followed Punjab government’s orders. Living in the same city and not far from Model Town, Punjab CM Mr Shehbaz Sharif was fully aware of what was happening in Model Town, but didn’t order the police for disengagement which resulted in deaths of 14 innocent lives including 2 pregnant women.

CCTV and Media footage shows that Punjab police was helping the goons like Gullu Butt who were damaging the infrastructure. Gullu Butt was an active PML-N worker and often used in different crimes by the local leadership.

There is no denying the fact that the action of such scale could not have been taken without the orders, approval and clearance of the rulers. It was they who planned the attack by thinking through minutest details and got it executed by police.

Did Police, which was equipped with state of the art weapons come to remove barriers only? Actually, there were ulterior motives behind the whole operation. The idea was to carry out merciless operation by targeting PAT workers including women and children, shed their blood and term it as a routine operation against encroachments. This worst-ever-incident in the country’s history happened due to police officers who get postings on the recommendations of their political masters and then leave no stone unturned to obey their illegal orders both ‘in letter and spirit’.

Model Town tragedy fame SSP Tariq Aziz got posting in Lahore soon after the release of Gullu Butt from jail. He was posted as Discipline and Inquiry SSP in Lahore Police HQ. SSP Tariq Aziz was Model Town SP when the Tragedy happened. He was the leading police officers during the operation. He was removed soon after the killings and was not able to get any field posting around two years, but suddenly got a promotion later on.

For all those who still say that PML-N has done nothing must ask the government to release the full text of Justice Baqir Najfi’s report in which he held Rana Sanaullah, SP Tariq and Punjab CM responsible for the Model Town massacre.

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