Huge turnout for TLP chief Khadim Rizvi's funeral at Lahore's Minar-i-Pakistan

Updated 22 Nov 2020

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Activists and supporters of  Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) gather for the funeral prayer of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, founder of TLP, in Lahore on Saturday. — AFP
Activists and supporters of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) gather for the funeral prayer of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, founder of TLP, in Lahore on Saturday. — AFP

The funeral prayers for Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who passed away on Thursday night, were offered at Lahore's Minar-i-Pakistan on Saturday afternoon.

Thousands of people gathered at the site to attend the funeral prayers with many complaining of mobile signal outages. The prayers were led by Rizvi's son, Saad Hussain Rizvi, who has been named the new TLP chief, according to TLP spokesman Salman Haider.

Rizvi was later laid to rest in the courtyard of Madressah Rehmatul Lil Alamin, the seminary associated with the mosque where he was a prayer leader, near Chowk Yateem Khana on Multan Road.

The city of Lahore started experiencing the impact of the death of the firebrand cleric when all entry points to the city and roads leading to his mosque faced traffic pressure, reporting long queues and jams. The pressure peaked on Saturday as thousands of his followers reached his funeral site and later walked in a procession to his burial site.

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According to the Lahore chief traffic officer (CTO), five deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) and 36 inspectors oversaw traffic arrangements in the city. In a statement, the CTO had said that no point would be completely closed for traffic and diversions would be opened along the route of the funeral procession.

The funeral procession moved through the Niazi Shaheed Interchange, Bund Road, Babu Sabu Interchange and Scheme Mor.

Security in the city was on "high alert" on the directions of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh with extra personnel posted at the entry and exit points of Lahore.

The TLP chief passed away two days ago at the age of 54.

According to the party’s spokesperson, Hamza, Rizvi had been experiencing difficulty in breathing and was running a fever since a day earlier.

The spokesperson added that Rizvi was at his madressah on Multan Road when his condition deteriorated on Thursday evening. He was subsequently rushed to the Farooq Hospital in Iqbal Town, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Rizvi was later taken to Sheikh Zayed Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead, said Saad Rizvi, son of Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

Rizvi made his final public appearance earlier this week at a sit-in staged by thousands of TLP followers at Islamabad's Faizabad interchange to protest the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in France.

The group had decided to end the sit-in on Monday (Nov 16) after successful negotiations with the government.