A special anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Saturday extended the judicial remand of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and other accused till March 16.
The decision was made while the court heard a case registered against the accused on charges of sedition and terrorism for delivering anti-state speeches and inciting violence during their three-day protests against Christian woman Aasia Bibi’s acquittal in a blasphemy case.
While distributing copies of the 'challan' registered against them, ATC-IV extended the remand for the seven suspects, including the TLP chief, Pir Afzal Qadri, Pir Ejaz Ashrafi, Farooqul Hasan, Shafqat Jamil, Waheed Noor and Syed Zaheer ul Hassan Shah.
On Nov 23, 2018, Rizvi was taken into 'protective custody' by police from Lahore as law enforcement agencies launched a massive crackdown against workers of TLP.
The crackdown had come two days before the TLP was going to resume its protest against the Supreme Court's verdict acquitting Aasia Bibi.
Violent protests had erupted in different parts of the country as activists of TLP and other religious parties took to the streets and blocked major roads and intersections through sit-ins and by putting barricades in protest against the SC verdict.
The suspects today were brought to court amid heavy security arrangements by Civil Lines Station officials, where case number 958/18 is registered against them. Their lawyers — Murtuza Ali Peerzada, Tahir Minhas and Nasir Minhas — were also present in court.
In an attempt to avoid any chaotic situation, the court increased the deployment of security forces.
During a previous hearing of the case, police had arrested dozens of TLP workers after they tried to block an armoured vehicle carrying the party chief when he appeared before the ATC.