Preparations for crackdown on ‘Azadi’ marchers under way

JUI-F, PML-N activists likely to be arrested and kept in a ‘special barrack’ at Adiala jail


Qaiser Sherazi October 12, 2019

RAWALPINDI: In a bid to effectively deal with political activists preparing to march on Islamabad by the end of this month, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have stepped up preparations to quell the anti-government movement, The Express Tribune has learnt.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has announced that his party would march on the federal capital on October 31 in an attempt to overthrow the PTI government which it alleges has come to power through rigging. Opposition parties, however, are in two minds over joining hands with Fazl.

According to sources, leaves of police officials scheduled from October 20 till the first week of November have been cancelled.

PML-N to meet JUI-F to finalise 'Azadi March'

LEAs, the sources added, have also prepared lists carrying names of all active workers of JUI-F and PML-N, their district office-bearers, trustees of seminaries, teachers and active students among others.

Preparations are also in full swing to house arrest suspects under Section 16 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

A ‘special barrack’ is also being built at Adiala Jail to house the suspects, the insiders said. The suspects can be kept under custody for a period of 30-90 days under the mentioned MPO section.

Arrangements have also been made to shift the arrested suspects to Attock and Mianwali prisons if need arises, the sources added.

Intelligence Bureau officials have also gathered information regarding the march from curators of all JUI-F-run seminaries, the sources said, adding that they were attending prayers at mosques of active madrassas in plainclothes, and the crackdown could begin from October 25.

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