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TLP senior leaders booked on criminal charges

LAHORE: Police in Shahdara town Lahore have booked senior leaders of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on charges of murder and attempt to murder, among others, after its nationwide protests turn violent against the arrest of the party chief.

As per details, five senior party leaders including, Saad Rizvi, Aijaz Rasool, Muhammad Qasim and others have been booked in Lahore police FIR.

At least two people were killed and several others, including policemen, injured as violence erupted in major cities following the arrest of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Allama Saad Hussain Rizvi.

According to a TLP spokesperson, Rizvi was arrested from the Punjab capital’s Iqbal Town area, where he had gone to attend a funeral. Saad Rizvi is the son of the firebrand cleric, and previous head of the TLP, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who died in November last year.

Soon after the arrest, the TLP issued a call for countrywide protests. Protesters took to the streets and blocked several roads and motorways across the country. They blocked highways, motorways and train tracks, disrupting life in a better part of the country.

The National Highway and Motorway police said that more than 50 points on the highways were blocked by the TLP activists. Reports suggested that railway lines were also blocked at Kasur and Narowal in central Punjab.

Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of protesters who blocked streets and intersections in Lahore and Karachi. Meanwhile, the federal government has also called Rangers to maintain law and order in the federal capital.

The police have also arrested dozens of protesters trying to sabotage the law and order and forcing shops to shut in Karachi. Due to protests at multiple locations in the city, Karachi witnessed one of its worst traffic jams causing immense difficulties for the commuters to reach their destinations.

The arrest comes a day after TLP central council had warned the government that it did not expel the French ambassador from the country, they would march on Islamabad from Lahore on April 20.  In November last year, the party staged a sit-in in Rawalpindi, which ended after an agreement was reached with the government.