ISLAMABAD: The police on Thursday decided to block different roads as well as the Faizabad Interchange to stop the outlawed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) from entering the capital on Friday.
The decision was taken after the banned outfit announced a long march towards Islamabad from Lahore to pressure the government to release its leader Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi.
Senior police officers told Dawn that about three dozen containers had been arranged to put on different roads, including Islamabad Expressway, to stop the TLP from entering the capital or staging a sit-in at Faizabad Interchange.
The containers were being brought to the Faizabad Interchange and put on the roads at midnight. Besides, well-equipped police personnel were deployed in and around the interchange.
Police were also deputed at entry point of the capital at Tarnol, Rawat and Bhara Kahu. Moreover, containers were arranged to block the roads at these three points but a final direction was awaited from the higher authorities.
Over 2,000 police officials are being deployed at the main points, including the entry points, to counter the TLP’s march, the officers said.
The police lines headquarters released 1,500 anti-riot gear kits for the contingents to be deployed on Friday.
Meanwhile, over three dozen leaders, activists and active workers of the banned outfit were picked from different parts of the capital on Thursday.
In Rawalpindi, police intensified their crackdown on the banned outfit, detaining more than 125 of its workers and leaders.
Of the 125 workers, 51 were detained in the Rawalpindi district, 21 in Attock, 29 in Jhelum and 25 in Chakwal. So far, 17 workers of the group have been arrested have been shifted to the Adiala jail for 30 days.
Moreover, personnel from Punjab Constabulary (PC) have also been called to assist the local police to maintain law and order.
Rangers and Elite Force commandos have been deployed at Faizabad.
According to sources, the police were first directed to start ‘door knocking’ at the residences of TLP workers and leaders to sensitise them but later decided to detain them for 30 days.
The sources said police had prepared lists of more than 320 workers of the outlawed outfit, including 39 individuals who had been placed on the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The police, however, could arrest 51 individuals under section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) and continued raids at the residences of other activists.
Police have been deployed at different points in the garrison city while reserve police have been placed on a standby. Rangers are also likely to be deployed in the city on Friday to maintain law and order.
Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2021