RAWALPINDI: As many as eight supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were arrested while 20 others were booked in Kotli Sattian and Patriata on Saturday on the charge of blocking roads and staging protest against the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan.

In another development, the Rawalpindi district administration extended Section 144 for another week.

ASI Mohammad Latif lodged an FIR with Kotli Sattian police, saying that some 15 PTI supporters appeared on Kashmir Road, raised slogans and blocked it to the general public.

He said some of the enraged protesters started collecting stones on seeing the police, but they were overpowered and put behind the bars. However, some managed to escape.

In a similar incident in Patriata, protesters raised anti-government slogans and demanded the release of Imran Khan. Four PTI supporters were detained by the police while five managed to escape.

However, no such protest was reported in Rawalpindi city as police continents patrolled the roads on Saturday.

On the other hand, the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner extended Section 144 in the district till August 12 to avoid law and order situation similar to May 9.

A notification issued by Deputy Commissioner Dr Hassan Waqar Cheema stated that on the information of District Intelligence Committee and the local police, there was an imminent threat within the limits of Rawalpindi district of a potential law and order situation entailing likely damage to human life and property.

Under this section, all kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstrations and similar activities are banned and carrying of weapons, spikes, batons, ball bearings, petrol bombs, improvised explosives or any other instrument that could potentially be used for violence was also not allowed.

Attempt to remove any restriction imposed by a police officer to regulate assembly of persons or movement of traffic will not be tolerated. Moreover, use of loudspeaker without permission of lawful authority except for Azan is not permitted. There is also a ban on pillion riding within the limits of Rawalpindi district.

This order shall not apply to the armed forces and police personnel in uniform and on duty. Exemption is allowed for females and children under the age of 12 years as well as media personnel in possession of valid photo identity besides CNIC.

Attock

The Attock district administration also imposed Section 144 to prevent Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters from gathering outside the Attock district jail and hold demonstrations.

The area around the jail has been declared a red zone as all roads leading to it have been fenced with barbed wires.

According to a notification issued by Deputy Commissioner Rao Atif Raza, “all types of sit-ins, rallies, processions and demonstrations have been banned under Section 144 till August 12 in Attock district”.

On the other hand, a five-member medical team of the Punjab health department examined Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan at the Attock district jail on Sunday, sources said.

They said the team headed by District Headquarters Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Jawad Elahi examined the detained PTI chief who had been placed in Barrack No. 2/1 of the C class in the high security prison. Different medical tests were also performed on him. According to Dr Jawad Elahi, the PTI chairman was medically fit.

Sources said the federal government had ordered provision of necessary facilities to Imran Khan keeping in view his position as the former prime minister.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2023

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