TLP protests: Footage of miscreants released

ISLAMABADThe Ministry of Interior has released photographs of several individuals who damaged public property as a crackdown continues against those involved in rioting during a nationwide protest last week.After the Supreme Court’s Oct 31 judgement that acquitted Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, in a blasphemy case, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) of Khadim Hussain Rizvi launched a countrywide protest, bringing several cities to a standstill for nearly three days.During the protest, several men were seen torching vehicles, blocking roads and vandalising public and private property, thus spreading fear throughout the country.

TLP protests: Over 5,000 booked in govt crackdown a day after deal

However, the government was able to strike a ‘deal’ with the TLP leadership after three days of rioting, and the protests were called off. The party leadership ‘apologised’ for offending anyone during the sit-ins, claiming that their members and supporters were only staging peaceful demonstrations, but some unknown offenders caused disruptions.The government later announced that it would not spare those involved in rioting; and in a recent development, the Ministry of Interior issued orders for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the police to take action against any person identified as miscreant.The ministry claims to have received photographs from the special branch and other sources, appealing to the public to identify them.Minister of State for Interior Sheharyar Afridi visited the ministry’s control room along with Minister for Communications Murad Saeed and Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Iftikhar Durrani.“Soon all facts will be shared with the nation,” said Afridi, adding that the government was well aware of its responsibility and would not disappoint the nation.“The nation had been in a state of chaos for two days as some people took the law into their own hands,” he said.Saeed also claimed that footages of the incidents had been sent to all relevant organiations and the law breakers would dealt with severely.Subsequently, the ministry started working in collaboration with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), the FIA and other institutions.The police have already started making arrests in several cities. The police in Islamabad registered First Information Reports (FIRs) against more than 100 people for vandalism in the federal capital.According to the Deputy Commissioner Office in Islamabad, 12 persons were arrested and warrants of arrest for 19 were issued under section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) by the district administration for violence and incitement to violence.Police source said that prompt action had been taken against these persons through use of photos and video footages. He said further investigation was underway for identifying others involved in interference in official matters and creating hurdles for people. Some of the arrested persons are also accused of injuring a high official of the district administrations.Similarly, the police in Karachi detained two men on charges of inciting violence and causing harm to public property while cases were also registered against 12 more.

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In Nawabshah, two TLP leaders and dozens of protesters were arrested for violence and hate speech.In Gujranwala town of Punjab, more than 2,500 unidentified men as well as nine leaders of different religious parties – including the TLP and the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl – were booked for destroying state property and promoting violence.Another four cases were registered in Attock while 17 TLP leaders were also charged for violence in Jehlum as police continued making further arrests. (with additional input from News desk)

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