Normalcy returns as protests fade

Heavy contingents of LEAs deployed at sensitive points


Our Correspondent April 17, 2021

LAHORE:

The protestors were confined to the banned Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) Markaz near Chowk Yateem Khana on Friday as the rest of the city was cleared of the rioters after the authorities launched a crackdown. There had been fears of a massive outrage and public display of agitation by the banned Tehreeke-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) on Friday; however, the metropolis witnessed rather a peaceful day.

The intensity and numbers of protests by the banned outfit that began Monday had been subsiding with each passing day after the crackdown. On Monday, the protesters had blocked the city at over 22 points. On Tuesday, the number of besieged areas had risen up to 31 with violent clashes that claimed the lives of two policemen. Over 100 policemen were injured in Lahore alone. On Wednesday and Tuesday night, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) had launched a crackdown and cases were registered against the protesters for disturbing law and order.

As a result of police action, the number of protests sites locations reduced to seven. On Thursday, there were protests only at two points in the city. The rest of the city remained calm and peaceful and traffic was plying on city streets as normal. The authorities had taken proactive measures to tackle the protestors. On Thursday night heavy contingents of LEAs were deployed at sensitive points with anticipated protests of the banned outfit. In addition to it, the government had temporarily suspended social media apps and internet service.

Read Crackdown on TLP to continue, says Rashid as he apologises for social media curb

This besides causing a nuisance to the public had also proved effective in containing the protestors as social media was used for instigating them. A spokesperson for Lahore Police said that overall Security of the city including mosques, Imam Bargahs and other religious places remained highly tightened on the first Friday of Ramazan. Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar had issued directions to DIG Operations, SSP Operations and all the divisional SPs to ensure foolproof security arrangements in wake of the present situation of the country.

He visited different areas of the city including mosques to check the security arrangements. All SPs, SDPOs and related officers also reviewed and ensured tight security arrangements throughout the city particularly at the masjid and all these religious places. Police officers and officials along with members of the Dolphin Squad and Police Response Unit remained alert and conducted effective patrolling at all the sensitive mosques and Imam Bargahs. Police checked all the vehicles particularly suspicious persons at the entry and exit points of the city.

The CCPO also led a joint flag march with Rangers in different areas of the city. Contingents of Pakistan Rangers, Dolphin Squad, Elite Force, traffic police, Anti-Riot Force, Police Response Unit and Ababeel Force were part of the flag march. Police March started from District Police Lines Qila Gujjar Singh and went through different important roads of the city including Empress Road, Mall Road, Kalma Chowk, Shanghai Bridge, Ghazi Road, Bhatta Chowk, Lahore Ring Road, Karol Ghatti, Shahdara Chowk, Imamia Colony Railway Crossing, Bund Road, Babo Sabo Chowk, Thokar Niaz Baig, Canal Road, finally culminating at the Police Lines Qila Gujjar Singh.

Dogar said the purpose of the flag march and other security arrangements was to create a sense of security among citizens. Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police Punjab Inam Ghani held a meeting with the family of martyred Constable Ali Imran at Qila Gujjar Singh. The IG offered Fateha for the elevation of Constable Ali Imran Shaheed and also presented a relief check to his father Muhammad Rafique from the Police Department.

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