All roads to, from Lahore blocked to prevent TLP workers from going to demos

All roads to, from Lahore blocked to prevent TLP workers from going to demos

LAHORE: The district administration Saturday closed Lahore to all those travelling to and from the city in the wake of protests organised by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party to demand the release of their detained leader Saad Hussain Rizvi.

Babu Sabu Interchange, Shahdara Chowk, Saggian Bridge, Old Ravi Bridge, Data Darbar shrine and Lahore Ring Road have been shut down for traffic.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Interior has approved the Punjab Home Department’s proposal to suspend the internet services in several neighbourhoods of Lahore.

The neighbourhoods expected to experience the disruption include: Shahdara, Data Darbar, New Ravi Bridge and Old Ravi Bridge.

Lahore police chief Ghulam Mahmood Dogar said the force would not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands.

Separately, many roads in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have also been blocked with containers by the authorities ahead of the proscribed party’s protest.

Violent clashes erupted between the security forces and TLP workers in Lahore on Friday, resulting in the killing of at least two policemen and two demonstrators.

The violence disrupted normal life in parts of Lahore, where residents were facing problems in reaching home because of the closure of some roads and continued clashes between police and the protestors.

Rizvi’s party said they were peaceful and that police suddenly started firing tear gas shells.

Sajid Saifi, a spokesman for the party, blamed police and paramilitary forces for initiating the violence. He said the use of force by authorities killed at least two demonstrators and injured hundreds of people.

Some were having a breathing problem because of the use of tear gas, he added.

Saifi alleged that police were not allowing them to transport their injured supporters to the hospital. According to witnesses, rallygoers were still walking towards a highway leading to Islamabad.

The incident happened after thousands of supporters and workers of the group launched their “long march” from the city toward Islamabad, demanding that the government release Rizvi who was arrested in April amid demonstrations against France over publishing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

The TLP has waged an anti-France campaign since President Emmanuel Macron defended the right of a satirical magazine to republish blasphemous cartoons depicting the prophet.

Six police officers were killed in April when the TLP staged days of rallies that paralysed roads.

This time, the government has deployed police and paramilitary personnel to prevent the demonstrators from leaving Lahore. Authorities also suspended cellular service in parts of Lahore.

Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, who had been in Dubai to watch Pakistan compete in the T20 cricket World Cup, returned home on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directive to monitor the situation.


Meanwhile, in a bid to avoid inconvenience to the people, the traffic police issued a traffic alert for Islamabad.

A spokesperson for the department said diversions have been placed for both sides of the road at the Express Chowk entry and exit points of the Red Zone. Commuters can use Margalla road, Ayub Chowk, NADRA Chowk and Dhokri Chowk to reach the area.

A diversion was placed at the Ninth Avenue signal for both sides of traffic from IJP Road to Faizabad and from IJP Road to Stadium Road.

Alternatively, Ninth Avenue can be used to enter Islamabad, while Peshawar Road can be used for Rawalpindi, said the spokesperson.

Traffic going from Islamabad to Murree Road Rawalpindi has been diverted to Islamabad Highway, with diversions placed for both sides of traffic at Murree Road and Faiz ul-Islam point, from and to Faizabad.

The spokesperson added diversions were placed at Murree Road before Faizabad for traffic from Rawal Dam Chowk to Faizabad. Commuters can use Park Road, Tramri Chowk and Lehtrar road to reach Islamabad Highway.

However, Srinagar Highway, Ninth Avenue and IJP Road can still be used to reach Rawalpindi, added the traffic police spokesperson.

Metrobus was operational from the IJP Road point to Pakistan Secretariat Friday but it will remain suspended in Rawalpindi Saturday.

The post All roads to, from Lahore blocked to prevent TLP workers from going to demos appeared first on Pakistan Today.

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