Srinagar: Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Rizvi was arrested by police in a raid on his residence in Lahore on Friday night.
Media reports suggest a crackdown has been initiated against the party’s activists and leaders in all major cities of the country, following the arrest of the firebrand cleric.
Dozens of workers of the party have reportedly been arrested, while police personnel have also been deployed at the Faizabad interchange in Islamabad, where the organisation had earlier staged a weeks-long protest.
TLP central leader Dr Asif Ali Bilali, TLP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa amir Syed Zafar Iqbal Shah Binori, Mufti Zahoor Ahmed Jalali, Allama Akram Jalali and Maulana Nisar Ahmed Jalali are some of the party leaders who were taken into custody by the law enforcement agencies from different parts of the country.
TLP’s Rawalpindi nazim Qari Shafiq Qadri, Hafiz Muhammad Hussain, Hafiz Tahir Hussain and TLP organisers Malik Taj, Ali Hassan, Qari Waqar and Rizwan Farooqui were arrested from the garrison city. Several others including Tahir Shah from Dhok Hassu, Qari Shafiqur Rehman, Adeel Abbasi from Chakri Road were also taken into custody.
Security has been beefed up across the country to thwart any untoward incident from happening. Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to protect all sensitive installations in all major cities.
The party had staged violent countrywide protests against the acquittal of Aasi Bibi last month.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, on Twitter, said Rizvi was shifted to a guest house after being taken into ‘protective custody’. The action was taken following the TLP’s refusal to withdraw the call to stage a protest sit-in [at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi] on Sunday, November 25, he added.
“Protecting public lives and properties is the first priority of the government,” he said in a tweet in Urdu.