Road blocks, traffic jams amid TLP calls for protests

Amraiz Khan

Almost one third of the provincial metropolis including its entry and exit points remained blocked after religious party Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) call for protests, which disrupted traffic in over 22 points of the City, causing massive jams and
multiple problems for the citizens.

According to details, people in the City suffer traffic jam and bottlenecks for hours as many major highways and thoroughfares remained blockaded by some protestors staging sit-ins.

Yateem Khana Chowk, Khayaban Chowk, Thokar Niaz Baig, Daroga Wala Chowk, Burki Road, Bhatta Chowk, Walton Road, Canal Road, among other areas remained blocked with traffic flow suspended.

The Lahore-Islamabad Motorway has been blocked for the traffic as well.
Separately, Severe and sporadic traffic blockades have been reported in the port city beset by factions of a religious party holding protests right ahead of the holy month of Ramazan restricting people on the roads for hours on end.

Severe clashes broke out between police and protesters of a religious party in Dera Ghazi Khan on Tuesday. The protesters were able to get hold of a police officer and tore apart his uniform.

In a video shown went viral on social media, it can be seen that the protesters with sticks in their hands ganging up on the police officer and pushing him through their protest site and later to the ground.

Thousands of supporters of a religious party who blocked major roads to protest the arrest of their leader also disrupted critical oxygen supplies for Covid-19 patients, health officials said.

Major intersections remained closed in Lahore after the arrest on Monday of the leader of the religious party.

The party has led calls for the expulsion of the French ambassador. Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid said the disruption of oxygen
supplies during protests Monday night had been a “crisis”. “Please do not block roads for ambulances and for visitors to hospitals.

Some ambulances are carrying oxygen cylinders, which are extremely essential for Covid patients,” Sh Rashid said.

Punjab pandemic pointman Asad Aslam said several hospitals had faced oxygen shortages Monday night, but the situation had stabilised after roads were cleared by authorities. Pakistan is in the grip of a deadly third wave of the coronavirus with a
shortage of vaccines.

The Lahore City’s traffic police announced alternate routes for traffic amid protests of a religious party on Tuesday. The police said that alternate routes for traffic have been arranged.

It is to be noted that that the protesters have blocked roads in various parts of Lahore. The roads blocked include: Lahore Ring Road, Darogha Wala Chowk, Karol Ghatti, Bhatta Chowk, Shanghai Bridge Ferozpur Road, Battery Stop and Imamia Colony

According to authorities, Jail Road, Mall Road, Allama Iqbal Road, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Canal Road, Thokar Chowk, Barki Road, Multan Road and Gulbarg Main Boulevard Road have been opened for vehicular traffic.

The religious group’s activists have staged sit-ins at various points in main cities causing massive traffic jams at various thoroughfares across the country.