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Police fire tear gas, baton-charge JUI-F workers outside KP Assembly

PESHAWAR: Police on Sunday resorted to heavy tear gas shelling and baton-charge to disperse workers of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) gathered outside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to protest against the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with the province.

The area outside the assembly virtually turned into a battleground between a heavy contingent of police and protesters when the latter tried to barge into the assembly to disrupt the session called to pass a constitutional amendment for the merger of Fata with KP.

The situation grew tense when protesters started pelting law enforcers with stones in a bid to make their way into the assembly. As a result, police personnel resorted to tear gas shelling and baton-charge to disperse JUI-F workers.

A number of protesters also attempted to lock and climb the assembly gate. However, the police present inside and outside the assembly foiled their attempt. Around a dozen protesting workers of the JUI-F were also taken into custody.

Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has summoned the session of provincial assembly to vote for the Constitution (Thirty-First Amendment) Bill — also known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Reforms Bill, 2018.

JUI-F had earlier announced to stage protest to sabotage voting on the bill that erases the colonial-era division between the tribal regions and the province.

Both the houses of the Parliament have already passed the bill with two third majority for merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

After the provincial assembly’s approval the landmark bill will bring the tribal borderlands, comprising seven agencies and six Frontier Regions, to the mainstream and will be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Tribal people will get representation in the KP Assembly through the amendment.

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