Page04 - Gulf Daily News

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Gulf Daily News
Monday, 2nd February 2015
Email: gdnnews@gdn.com.bh
Families moving out
of trouble hotspots
n Youngsters carrying pictures of Shaikh Salman hurl rocks at police during clashes in
Bilad Al Qadeem on Friday
n Shops are shuttered on this Bilad Al Qadeem street as police fire tear gas to disperse rioters
By RAJI UNNIKRISHNAN
Pictures: AHMED AL FARDAN
FAMILIES are reportedly moving out of a trouble
hotspot amid a rise in
violent clashes between
rioters and police.
Bilad Al Qadeem has been
turned into a “ghost town”, it
has been claimed, following
the arrest of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society secretary-general Shaikh Ali Salman, who lives in the area.
Area MP Nasser Al Qaseer told the GDN that the
daily riots were a blight on
the village, with local businesses being forced to close
as early as 3pm due to the
violence.
n An earlier, peaceful demonstration against Shaikh Salman’s
Shaikh Salman, who
arrest in Bilad Al Qadeem on Friday that later turned violent
was arrested on December
28, appeared for his first hearing in the High a direct impact on the economy, they could not
Criminal Court on Wednesday, where he plead- be ignored.
“The road blocks are causing delays and trafed not guilty to inciting the overthrow of the
fic issues and definitely businesses are losing out
government.
“There are clashes every day in the village when they have to close their doors so early,”
and I understand that public life has been af- he said.
He pledged to address the issue through
fected with shops closing down and families
stranded inside their houses,” Mr Al Qaseer “open discussion” at his majlis, to be held in
Bilad Al Qadeem later this week.
told the GDN.
The GDN earlier reported that Shaikh Sal“These clashes have been on the rise ever
since the arrest of Shaikh Ali Salman and I am man spoke for 40 minutes during his court aptold of incidents where people got stuck on the pearance with a five-member defence team, on
Wednesday.
road while trying to reach hospitals.
He denied charges of promoting the overthrow
“Families, I understand, are temporarily
moving to other villages as they are finding it of the government and changing the political regime by force, inciting hatred against a religious
difficult to move about in the evening hours.
“With the road blocks and burning and pro- sect, insulting the Interior Ministry, and inciting
testing, people’s lives are definitely being ad- others to break the law.
versely affected.”
Adjourned
Mr Al Qaseer said it was essential to find an
The trial was adjourned to February 25 for
urgent solution to the situation in the village.
“The villagers have spoken to me about their review.
Shaikh Salman’s arrest has also led to a rise
concerns and I myself have visited their places
of residence and reassured them of the neces- in protests in other villages across Bahrain insary actions being taken by the government to cluding Sanabis, Jidhafs, Abu Saiba, Bani Jamra, Duraz, Sitra and Nuwaidrat.
protect civilian life,” he said.
Nightly rallies in these villages are held to
“The government should be allowed to act as
per the law and regulations and every citizen demand the cleric’s release.
The GDN reported yesterday that a 14-yearshould respect the law and must not take it for
old Bahraini was injured in Duraz after he was
granted.”
Mr Al Qaseer, who is also parliament’s finan- allegedly caught in the crossfire between rioters
cial and economic affairs committee vice-chair- and security services.
raji@gdn.com.bh
man, said even though the clashes did not have