City paralysed as religious party’s protests continue for 2nd day

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The traffic flow remained suspended all day across the city due to sit-ins in more than dozen areas. According to the traffic police spokesperson, the protesters have staged a sit-in at Orangi No. 5, Baldia Hub River Road, Korangi No. 2 and many others. The traffic police had requested the citizens to take an alternative route.

 

The Karachi traffic police said that while protesters had dispersed from most parts of the city, demonstrations were still ongoing in three areas of the metropolis.

 

“Sit-ins are being staged at Orangi Town No. 5, Korangi 2.5 and Hub River Road. Alternate routes are being provided at the protest sites,” the statement said.Baldia Town police station ASI Farooq Ahmed added that police were trying to clear Hub River Road to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

 

However, TLP workers had pelted officials with stones, he said.

 

The situation turned violent in the evening when a 22-year-old man was killed and another was injured in police firing carried out to disperse protesters in Baldia No. 4.

 

In the evening, protest also resumed at Star Gate, where motorcycles were set on fire. Sharea Faisal was closed, and traffic was being diverted from this road to Shahrah-i-Quaideen.Five separate FIRs were lodged in four different police stations of the East district against 30 “miscreants”, including two under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), according to the SSP East. A brawl has broken out between demonstrators and police during a protest on  Hub River road.

 

The demonstrators pelted stones at the police.

 

A sit-in in the Star Gate area also saw violence break out with a scuffle between police and protesters. The protesters pelted stones at vehicles passing by, leaving their windows and windscreens broken.

 

Meanwhile, the flow of traffic on Shahrah-e-Faisal was severely affected, with long queues of cars seen late into the evening.

 

The TLP has been demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador over the publication of blasphemous caricatures. In November last year, the party staged a sit-in in Rawalpindi, which ended after an agreement with the government.

 

The TLP announced on November 17 that the government had accepted all its four demands. The TLP had released a copy of the handwritten agreement, carrying signatures of Qadri, then interior minister Ijaz Shah and the deputy commissioner, Islamabad.

 

The agreement said that the government would take a decision from the parliament regarding the expulsion of the French ambassador within three months, will not appoint its ambassador to France and release all the arrested workers of the TLP.

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