LAHORE: In the backdrop of the tense situation emerging in Lahore after the issuance of orders for the release of proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi, all the 36 district police officers in Punjab have been directed to get surety bonds from 185 “4th schedulers” of the party, who include 61 activists from Lahore, to preempt any unlawful activity by them in the province.
The Punjab police’s senior command reviewed in a meeting at the Central Police Office the updated list of these hardcore activists/leaders of the banned TLP and the 98 criminal cases registered against its chief and others all over the province. Of these, 12 cases were lodged in Lahore where the TLP chief was also nominated for kidnapping the policemen and attacking the law enforcers, an official privy to the development told Dawn.
The updated list of the 4th schedulers has also been circulated among all the regional, city and district police officers of Punjab.
The official said the officers were directed to mobilse police to check the movement of the activists and get surety bonds from them to ensure they won’t take law into their hands or assemble unlawfully in any part of the province.
Names of these 185 persons were included in the 4th Schedule by the Punjab home department under the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997 on the basis of “credible intelligence reports” and for having a history of links with the proscribed organisation. Accordingly, the government has barred them from travel and speeches and participation in unlawful activities, under the ATA, 1997.
According to the updated list, four of these TLP activists have been declared proclaimed offenders (POs), as many others have changed their residences, while 64 were recently added in the 4th schedule.
Besides the 61 activists from Lahore, 16 are from Rawalpindi, 15 Attock, 14 Chakwal and 11 each belong to Gujrat and Sialkot.
The official said the police high command got alarmed, particularly after some top leaders of the banned organisation flexed muscles by making fiery speeches outside the Kot Lakhpat Jail a couple of days back to exert pressure on the authorities for immediate release of Saad Rizvi.
The CPO has asked all heads of the district police to engage the TLP 4th schedulers in their respective jurisdictions as per the new guidelines to avoid any untoward incident in the coming days.
He said the Lahore police high-ups also held some separate meetings with the TLP leaders and lawyers after the later threatened to take to the street over not releasing Mr Rizvi despite the court orders. However, the police officers showed them the court order that clearly said that the TLP chief or his lawyers were not fulfilling the legal requirements to secure his release. They also warned the party leadership that police would show zero tolerance if they dared to assemble in any part of the city unlawfully, the official said.
He said the submission of surety bonds and completion of verification process by the concerned departments (the requisites for Rizvi’s release) required at least a week or so, and the TLP leadership would have to abide by the law in this respect.
“We have conveyed to them (TLP leaders) in a meeting held late on Sunday in Lahore that their chief was wanted by the Punjab police in 98 cases registered against him in various parts of the province, including 12 in Lahore”, he said, adding that they had also been told that the morale of the Lahore police was high and all measures had already been taken to deal with them if they resorted to any unlawful activity.
The Sunday night meeting was attended by six senior leaders, two media coordinators and lawyers of the TLP, while the senior command of the Lahore police, including CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar and Operations DIG Sohail Chaudhry were also present, the officer said.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021