RAWALPINDI: Police arrested more than 150 workers of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on Friday in order to prevent them from participating in a protest march against France tomorrow.
The TLP had announced plans to gather and march — from Rawalpindi Press Club till Faizabad — against publication of blasphemous caricatures by French magazine Charlie Hebdo whilst demanding for a boycott of French products along with expulsion of the French ambassador from Islamabad.
However, the government plans to stop them from protesting which is why police have started conducting raids in Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum, Chakwal and Islamabad to arrest leaders, activists and workers of the party.
Police have arrested 60 workers from Rawalpindi, 30 from Attock, eight from Jhelum and 30 from Chakwal. It is also being reported that leaders of the group have gone underground.
The arrested workers were shifted to Adiala and district jails in Attock and Jhelum under section 3 of Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance for 15 days.
Around 45 TLP workers arrested from Islamabad were shifted to Adiala jail along with more than five others detained by Rawalpindi police.
According to police, the party’s leadership, workers and activists were divided into categories A, B and C; TLP’s leader from North Punjab Inayat ul Haq Shah and District President Ramzan Chishti were among those arrested.
The extreme-right party, led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi, gave a call to its supporters for a long march from Lahore to the capital city on Wednesday.
Law enforcement agencies have taken all possible measures to stop TLP workers and leaders from staging a protest and marching towards Faizabad. Police and Rangers, in this regard, have been deployed at various points in Rawalpindi and at Faizabad.
Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2020