Police seize containers across Punjab to create blockades to prevent protests

Published: November 26, 2017


LAHORE: To restrict the movement of workers and supporters of the Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah, the provincial administration seized hundreds of containers across Punjab.

Pakistan Goods Transporters Association General Secretary Nabeel Mahmood Tariq told The Express Tribune that the police and administration have seized a number of containers of its association members.

“It is really difficult to estimate the exact number of seized containers and trucks as the government has blacked out most of information and communication channels,” said Tariq.

The association’s general secretary said that they were continuously receiving complaints that the local administrations have been impounding their containers and trucks to block main roads in almost all parts of the province.

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Tariq also disclosed that considering the current law and order situation in the country most goods transporters have already stopped their operations due to the unrest and roadblocks.

Meanwhile, Punjab Goods Transport Association General Secretary Javed Malik estimated that around 4,000 to 5,000 containers have been seized across Punjab. Most of these containers have been seized in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, causing huge losses to the transporters, he added.

“The government and law enforcing agencies have made it a standard protocol to seize containers for blocking roads. It seems that the government believes goods transporters are responsible for all the protests and sit-ins in the country,” he deplored.

The containers which have been seized have been parked near important installations and VIP residences in the city, especially along roads near the ruling family’s Jati Umra and Model Town residences.

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A police official, when asked about the containers, said that they would use these containers to block roads leading to sensitive buildings or VIP residences.

SP Investigation Syed Karrar Hussain, who spoke to reporters outside Shahdara Police Station which had been attacked yesterday, said police and protesters have agreed that if they remain peaceful then the police will not intervene. He added that reserve police contingents are on standby to deal with any untoward situation.

Meanwhile, National Highway and Motorway Police (NHMP) have advised commuters to avoid traveling on M-2 Motorway and N-5 Highway as these major highways connecting Punjab have been blocked at various points.

The travel advisory shows that M-2 Motorway is closed from Bhera to Lahore, Pindi Bhatian to Faisalabad, Faisalabad to Gojra, Kotmoman to Lahore, Faisalabad and Gojra owing to protests. As a precaution the authority has also activated a live travel advisory board on its website to facilitate passengers.

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