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RAWALPINDI: The police on Friday arrested three Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leaders for inciting the public against the dismissal of a petition against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court (SC) and delivering provocative speeches against the government in various parts of Rawalpindi division.

Police sources said Pir Yaqoob Saifi and five other people were arrested while delivering speeches in a mosque in Talagang Saddar against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi and inciting people against the government.

The police said a case was registered against them under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance and section 288 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

TLP leader and in-charge of its media cell in Jhelum Awais Rizvi was arrested while TLP general secretary Fatehjang Ikhlaq Ahmed was also detained as they were planning to protest against SC’s final decision in the Aasia Bibi case.

On Wednesday, the police had launched a crackdown in the Rawalpindi division and arrested about 90 workers of several religious parties, including TLP local leaders, and sent them to Adiala jail for 30 days.

Meanwhile, the capital city was put on high alert once again on Friday to counter any protests by TLP against the dismissal of an appeal against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi.

The police said a ban has also been imposed in the capital over large gatherings.

About 1,800 police officials were deployed in different areas of the capital including those of the Counter Terrorism Force, commandos, the Anti-Riot Unit and traffic police as well as Rangers.

Extra security measures were taken at Tarnol, Rawat, Bhara Kahu and the Expressway.

Contingents of police and Rangers were deployed at Faizabad as a precautionary measure as TLP had announced the protest for after Friday prayers. Extra security measures were also adopted for the Red Zone and sensitive installations.

However, no significant protests were recorded in the capital. An official said local TLP leaders were already arrested or detained on orders of the district administration under MPO as a preventative measure.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2019