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Karachi

November 6, 2018
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Seven held in 39 cases lodged against TLP protesters

Karachi

November 6, 2018

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The police on Monday claimed to have arrested over half a dozen suspects who violated the Section 144 and resorted to rioting during the three-day protests following the acquittal of Asia Bibi by the Supreme Court in a blasphemy case.

On the directives of the federal government, the Karachi police started lodging cases on Sunday against protesters who brought the city to a standstill for three days. The police registered around a dozen cases against leaders and supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) who participated in the protest demonstrations at various locations of the city. However, the police did not make any arrest on Sunday.

On Monday, the police continued to register cases against the TLP leaders and workers at various police stations of Karachi as well as in rural Sindh. “A total of 61 suspects have been nominated and seven of them arrested so far in the 39 cases registered against the TLP leadership and protesters across the province,” reads a report submitted on Monday to the Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam on the law and order situation in the province.

Of the 39 cases registered against protesters in the province, 34 have been lodged in Karachi and five in other parts of Sindh. Four FIRs were registered in District South in Karachi, three in District East, six in District Malir, 15 in District Korangi, five in District Central and one in District West. In rest of Sindh, two cases were registered in Kashmore district while a single case was lodged in Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Ghotki districts each.

According to police officials, they have been given the go-ahead to launch a crackdown against the TLP local leadership and protesters across the province and a list of miscreants who violated the Section 144 and resorted to rioting is being prepared for the purpose.

The police have nominated hundreds of unidentified protesters as suspects in the FIRs. However, 61 suspects have been nominated by name as they were identified with the help of CCTV footage and videos that went circulated on social media, a senior police officer said. “The police have been given free hand to arrest those involved in rioting and the violators of Section 144,” he added.

The government had invoked the Section 144 in the province to avert any untoward incident and banned pillion riding, rallies, gathering of four persons, displaying weapons and closure of the city’s thoroughfares and highways.

The officer explained that seven arrests had so far been made while a major operation was on the cards against the miscreants on the night between Monday and Tuesday. Police sources also revealed that a majority of those were nominated in the FIRs had gone underground to escape arrests.

The TLP and other politico-religious parties had paralysed the metropolis for the three consecutive days between October 31 and November 2 to protest the acquittal of Asia Bibi in a nine-year-old blasphemy case. The protests, however, ended when the TLP central leadership reached an agreement with the federal administration late on Friday night.

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