Joint LEAs op clears City roads, disperses protesters

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Two policeman killed, 580 people injured in 4 days of blockade


Amraiz Khan

All main thoroughfares of the provincial metropolis were reopened for traffic Thursday morning following a joint operation by the police and Rangers personnel against Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protesters.

The operation was launched to disperse protesters from Chungi Amar Sadhu, where the largest number of party supporters had reportedly gathered.

The protesters pelted stones on the personnel of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in response but they were eventually forced to disperse.

Later, the LEAs led by Rangers personnel carried out an operation at Darogawala Chowk and reopened it after three days along with Mughalpura, Bhatta Chowk, LDA Chowk, and Shahdara Chowk.

According to the officials, though protesters still present near Grand Battery Stop on Multan Road, the headquarters of TLP and Scheme Mor, but the police claimed they will be dispersed from Scheme Mor later in the day.

On the other hand, the federal government approved the summary, banning the Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), under Anti-Terrorism Act, for what is being described the party acts, which have in fact challenged the state writ.

It is to be recalled that the protests erupted on April 12 following the arrest of TLP Chief Saad Hussain Rizvi in Lahore.

Main roads in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and other cities were blocked following this, and people were stuck in traffic for hours.

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that Pakistan has decided to ban TLP. The summary has been approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The summary said that two policemen were killed, 580 people injured during the three-day protest. The protesters set ablaze 30 police vans.

At least 115 FIRs have been registered and 2,063 workers arrested. In Punjab, 1669 workers were arrested, 228 in Sindh, 193 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 43 in Islamabad.

CONDEMNATIONS
Prominent clerics were vocal about the eruption violence.
Allama Iftikhar Hussain Naqvi denounced the violence that ensued after a religious group held processions for the honour of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which turned violent.

The protestors destroyed property, innocent people were killed, roads were blocked, leading to sufferings for public at large. This attitude is neither Islamic nor human, he said in a video released Thursday.

The government should take strict action against those spreading chaos in the name of religion, closing down roads, damaging properties and attacking the public, he said.

Allama Naqvi was of the opinion that the government should have Parliament pass a decision against those who disrespected the Holy Prophet (PBUH), especially the French president.

The prime minister should take up the issue from the platform of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as he has done in the past, he recommended. A restriction should be imposed on the international level against such blasphemy.

PROTESTERS ATTACK MEDIA WORKERS
Activists of the religio-political party Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protesting in different cities of the country have started targeting the employees of different private news channels.

According to details, the religious party workers attacked a reporter of a private news channel who was covering the protest in Lahore.

The protestors also attacked the cameraman of private news channel and forcibly deleted footage of violence from the camera. The protesters also tore up the clothes of a reporter and cameraman.

Similarly, in another incident of attack on media workers, the violent protesters pelted stones on ARY News DSNG and smashed the windscreen of the van.