Bahawalpur police spring into action to stop PDM rally today

Published January 3, 2021
This file photo shows the Pakistan Democratic Movement's workers at its first rally in Gujranwala. — AFP/File
This file photo shows the Pakistan Democratic Movement's workers at its first rally in Gujranwala. — AFP/File

BAHAWALPUR: Police arrested the opposition parties’ workers, booked seven leaders of the Pakistani Democratic Movement (PDM) in cases and served warning notices on eight PML-N leaders, asking them to refrain from holding the rally on Sunday (today).

In Hasilpur and Ahmedpur East tehsils, cases were registered against dozens of opposition parties’ workers.

Police sprung into action after the district administration refused to allow the PDM to organise its scheduled rally in the city.

PML-N leaders served notices, workers arrested; dozens booked

The police sources identified the arrested PML-N workers as Waseem Qureshi and Tariq. They were denied bail by a local court.

In the notices, the PML-N leaders were warned against violating the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) by organising the gathering of people.

The PML-N leaders who were given warning included former federal minister Mian Balighur Rehman, MNA Mian Najeebuddin Owaisi, MPA Zaheer Channar, former minister Malik Iqbal Channar, former senator Saood Majeed Chaudhry, former Mayor Bahawalpur Aqeel Najam Hashmi, former PML-N candidate Rana Muhammad Tariq and Aslam Rehmani. They were warned of legal action if they failed to comply with the coronavirus SOPs.

The leaders of the PML-N, PPP and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) who were booked for mobilising the public for Sunday’s rally included Ashraf Ramay, Maulana Yasin Siddiqui, Qari Abdullah and Rana Muhammad Afzal. In the FIRs, registered against them by different police stations, they were charged of making arrangements for a public gathering in violation of the Covid-19 SOPs.

In Hasilpur and Ahmedpur East, cases were registered against 40 to 50 of the PDM workers, including Tanveer Ahmed Paracha, Naveed Bhatti, Asim Hussain, Malik Kashif, Malik Aamir Channar and Saddique Ahmed on the complaints of the deputy district health officers and assistant commissioners.

According to Jam Sajid, the PRO of the DPO office, the workers against whom cases had been registered could be arrested.

Meanwhile, the PDM leaders, namely PML-N’s Balighur Rehman, PPP’s Shahrukh Malik and JUI’s Maulana Yasin Siddiqui, at a joint press conference condemned the police action and the government’s tactics to stop the rally. They expressed resolve to hold the rally, led by PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, at all costs.

Mr Baligh said the administration had also brought containers to block the route of the rally on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the sound system of DJ Butt has also reached Bahawalpur. They rally is scheduled to start from River Chowk in the city.

CYLINDER BLAST: A man died while three suffered serious burns in a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder blast in a shop on the Choonawala Road in the Saddar police area in Hasilpur.

According to the Rescue 1122, the explosion occurred during decanting of the gas.

Shopkeeper Azam Farooq Kamboh (40) was decanting the gas when the blast occurred. As a result, he and three others were burnt.

Kamobh succumbed to his burns while the three others, including Muhammad Shafiq (40) and Afroz (12), had eighty per cent of their bodies burnt.

Published in Dawn, Jannuary 3rd, 2021

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