LAHORE, July 29: Scores of people led by some clerics on Sunday demonstrated in front of Karbala Gamay Shah to protest against construction of an overhead bridge as part of the Bus Rapid Transit System.

They chanted slogans against the Punjab government for constructing the overhead bridge which, they fear, would spoil the facade of the historical building.

At a press conference at the same venue earlier, they pledged grand protest rallies if the Punjab government didn’t stop the “construction of the country’s longest overhead bridge at Lower Mall by demolishing the facade of Karbala Gamay Shah and adjoining religious sacred places.”

Shia Shehryan Pakistan’s Secretary-General Syed Mazhar Hussain Naqvi said: “We have been left with no option but to protest the government’s hasty execution of overhead bridge construction. It will hurt the sentiments of Muslims.”

Flanked by Syed Waqarul Hasnain Naqvi, Sahibzada Pir Mukhtar Ashraf Rizvi, Dr Syed Noorul Mustafa Qadri, Dr Amjad Hussain Chishti and Maulana Nasir Mehdi, he claimed that the authorities had changed the BRTS design and decided to construct the country’s longest flyover at the road stretch from Katchery Chowk to Ravi Road by linking it with the shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh.

He deplored that the government had earlier demolished several mosques to make way for new development schemes in the city. He said the Muslims, irrespective of sects, would not allow the flyover construction.

The government should instead start working on an underpass to avoid demolishing Karbala Gamay Shah’s facade, he said and also urged the state functionaries to restore traffic on the route before Youm-i-Ali.

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