LAHORE: Law enforcement personnel arrested on Friday night Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) head Dr Asif Ashraf Jalali in the wake of their protest call for agitation on Sunday (tomorrow).

Law enforcement agencies also launched a massive crackdown in Lahore and arrested dozens of activists of the two religious organisations.

Soon after the news of the arrest of the two clerics spread, hundreds of activists of the two parties took to the streets and blocked many roads for traffic.

Multan Road turned into a battlefield where the violent activists clashed with police. A constable was seriously injured after a group of protesters attacked him with clubs and iron rods. Late night reports suggested that the workers of the TLP and TLYR also damaged vehicles in several parts of the city.

Senior police officers in Lahore confirmed to Dawn the arrest of Khadim Rizvi and Ashraf Jalali. “We have arrested the wheelchair-bound cleric and the TLYR chief,” they said, adding that the high/red alert had been generated to heighten the security in the provincial capital.

Following the unrest and severe clashes, Rangers reached Lahore, taking control of city’s major roads. Prior to the agitation, a police officer said, hundreds of trained police commandos and personnel of the anti-riot force were dispatched to the Multan Road after the information that violent activists of the TLP had held a senior police officer — Iqbal Town SP Syed Ali — hostage along with his guards.

He said the SP was negotiating with the leaders and activists of the TLP in his division in the wake of the party’s call for protest. The police commandos rescued the SP and police guards after some clashes which led to the unrest in the area.

Meanwhile, a massive crackdown was launched across Punjab following reports of violent protests by the activists of the TLP and TLYR. According to a Dawn correspondent in Sialkot, police arrested Sufi Mohammad Rafiq, district emir of the TLP, and four main activists of the party, identified as Saleem Shahid, Mehbub Hassan, Nasir Dogar and Syed Kaleemul Hassan Shah.

In Karachi, several activists of the TLP started protest soon after the arrest of Khadim Rizvi. The party’s workers came out on roads and staged a protest sit-in on M.A. Jinnah Road, and resultantly traffic was diverted to other routes.

“We have started sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi on M.A. Jinnah and protest may spread to other parts of the metropolis if Allama Rizvi is not released,” said TLP spokesperson Ali.

Police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the TLP workers holding the sit-in. “The police used tear gas shelling and dispersed the mob,” said a senior police officer who wished not to be named. The officer said that “some workers” were also detained and the main artery had been vacated from the protesters.

The TLP spokesperson confirmed to Dawn that police used tear gas shelling and apprehended their party leader Sufi Ayaz Qadri and other workers.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2018

Opinion

Diverging paths
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Diverging paths

It seems that Imran Khan is feeling the pain of the adjustment that he has had to undertake.
Judging the judges
15 Apr 2021

Judging the judges

In the end, like Joan of Arc, they were made to pay with their blood.
People to people
Updated 15 Apr 2021

People to people

By facilitating access, the governments of India and Pakistan can start to build trust and understanding between the two publics.
Hostage to extremism
Updated 14 Apr 2021

Hostage to extremism

Once again, the TLP has succeeded in bringing the administration to its knees.

Editorial

Afghanistan exit
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Afghanistan exit

Afghanistan has suffered for decades as powerful local players have refused to compromise and have insisted on hogging power.
15 Apr 2021

New census

EARLIER this week, the Council of Common Interests approved the controversial National Population and Housing ...
15 Apr 2021

With no place to go

No matter where one looks, one can’t escape the heartrending sight of scores of children of all ages begging, ...
TLP protests
Updated 14 Apr 2021

TLP protests

For the good of the country, and its image as a nation where extremism has no place, such groups must be strictly reined in.
14 Apr 2021

PPP’s formal exit

THE PPP’s formal resignation from all offices of the PDM comes as no surprise after weeks of tension and public...
14 Apr 2021

Natanz attack

AS the P5+1 and Iran try to breathe life back into the JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is officially known, it appears...