GUJRAT: The local administration of Mandi Bahauddin sealed the main gate of the Quaid-i-Azam Ground, also known as Cinema Ground, and deployed police contingent there on Saturday in a bid to stop the PML-N from holding a rally today [Sunday].
The ground had also been allegedly filled with the rain and drainage water after the heavy rain on Saturday and it seemed difficult that a rally could be held there in the current situation.
Earlier, the administration and police did not grant the PML-N permission to hold the rally at the venue, citing security reasons. Maryam Nawaz was expected to address to rally, according to the initial plan.
However, Mushahid Gujjar, a local party leader and the host of the scheduled rally, told Dawn the rally would be held as per its schedule on Sunday (today) at the same venue around 6pm despite administration’s tactics to create hindrances to stop the peaceful political activity.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had held two public meetings at the same venue during the PML-N era and the then government had granted the PTI permission for the meetings while during the election campaign of the 2018 polls, both the PML-N and PTI held public meetings at the same place.
Mr Gujjar alleged that the administration had brought the police from neighbouring districts and a crackdown on the PML-N workers had been launched to arrest them.
Meanwhile, the PML-N claimed more than a dozen of its workers had been arrested and the administration had intentionally diverted the water of a drain to the venue.
The police sources denied the arrest of any PML-N worker, saying the six workers who were detained on Friday from the venue had also been released.
Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2019