LAHORE: The police continued a crackdown on Monday on those involved in rioting, road blocking, damaging public property and injuring people and police officials across the province in protests after the Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case on Oct 31.
On the directions of the federal government, the Punjab police arrested on Monday 159 people for arson, vandalism, violence and attacking the police, according to a spokesperson for the police.
Of them, 44 were arrested in Sahiwal, 18 in Lahore, and five each in Rawalpindi and Nankana Sahib. Out of the total 25 FIRs registered in Punjab under serious charges against the violators, 11 were lodged in Lahore, six in Sheikhupura and four in Sahiwal. Some cases were registered under terrorism charges.
Of the 63 police officers injured by offenders, 58 were discharged from the hospitals while five others, including a DSP, were being treated for their profound injuries. On the other hand, the police record showed that the 42 vehicles damaged and set on fire belonged to the public and 16 to the Punjab police department.
Eight produced before ATC
According to our Sheikhupra and Kasur correspondents, the police arrested 95 and 15 people, while TV channels reported 92 arrests in Faisalabad. In all, according to Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi, 1,800 people have been arrested across Punjab.
The arrests are being made on the basis of the forensic analysis of mobile phone and CCTV footages, and other evidences.
According to the police, damage to public and private vehicles by the offenders was estimated at Rs46.6 million. Also, the Punjab police detained nearly 800 violators under the 16 MPO. A majority of them were released on assurance from them that they would not take part in such activities in the future.
Similarly, 300 people were arrested in the last couple of days in Punjab in 130 criminal cases lodged against them by individuals for damaging their properties.
REMAND: An anti-terrorism court on Monday remanded eight workers of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in 14-day police custody for their alleged involvement in damaging public and private property during protests.
South Cantonment police produced the suspects before the court of Judge Mr Sheikh Sajjad and sought their physical remand for further investigation.
The investigating officer told the court that the suspects also tortured police personnel and tore their uniforms in addition to vandalising the public and private properties, including shops and vehicles. He said the suspects had been identified through CCTV cameras footage and mobile phone video clips made by citizens.
The IO stated that custody of the suspects was required for investigation and arrest of others involved in the violent protests. He asked the court to grant 15-day physical remand of the suspects.
The court, however, allowed the police 14-day physical remand of the suspects -- Ishtiaq, Imran, Afzal, Farhan, Jahanzeb, Danyal and Majid.
Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018