MIRPUR (AJK)-Activists of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah and other religious groups Saturday staged protest demonstrations in various parts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir over the police action against the participants of 20-day old Faizabad sit-in.

A large number of people gathered at the central locations of AJK cities including Mirpur, Kotli, Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot and staged protest demonstrations by blocking various major roads and streets to register their indignation against the operation against the occupants of Rawalpindi Islamabad-Highways at Faizabad, the central point abridging the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

For the past 20 days, they have been staging the sit-in demanding early resignation of the law minister and others against the amendment in the oath of Finality of Prophethood.

In Mirpur, a large number of people thronged the central Shaheed Chowk and staged a protest demonstration by blocking all roads leading to the Chowk placing hurdles by burning tyres. They raised slogans over the police action against participants of the Faizabad sit-in describing it uncalled for act. They declared the 20-day old ‘Dharna justified in support of the demands including the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and unveiling the names of those behind the amendment – which was later withdrawn by the government.

The protestors brought out a procession raising slogans of “Labaik – Ya Rasool Allah’’ and against the police operation. The procession later moved to Mangla for onward proceeding to join the protestant participants of the Faizabad sit-in. However, they were stopped by the authorities of Punjab government as well as AJK at Mangla Bridge - the gateway to this part of Kashmir to avert any untoward incident. No untoward incident occurred as the demonstration mostly remained peaceful. Similar protest demonstrations were also taken out in various other parts of AJK – which mostly remained peaceful.

In Sahiwal, a number of protest rallies were taken out across the district against the police operation to dismantle the Faizabad sit-in, demanding immediate removal of the federal law minister and stern action against those involved in amending Khatm-e-Nubuwwat clause in the election bill.

The main rally, taken out under the supervision of Asif Ali Bhatti at Adda Kameer blocked the GT Road. In the meanwhile, police arrest Asif Ali along with other activists while another rally was held in front of Press Club Sahiwal that was led by Maulana Imam Bakhsh and Haji Shaukat Waheed. Other protest rally was taken out by Anjuman-e-Mehria, Naseeria Sahiwal under the supervision of Aman Salahuddin. The protesters chanted slogans against Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and the government. Chanting “Labaik Ya Rasool Allah”, Qadyani ka jo yar hai Ghadar Ghadar Hai,” the protest demanded immediate release of the arrested activists.

On the other hand, on the call Of Punjab Bar Council, the District Bar Association boycotted court proceedings to vent of anger against the police operation against sit-in participants in Faizabad. In Hafizabad, strike was observed in Hafizabad, Pindi Bhattian, Sukheke Mandi, Jalalpur Bhattian and other towns of the district in protest against the police crackdown on the sit-in activists in Faizabad, Rawalpindi.

Several rallies were taken out across the district, which blocked most of the main thoroughfares. The interchange at Pindi Bhattian, Kot Sarwar and Bhaka Bhattian remained closed and hundreds of vehicles remained stranded at the motorway interchanges. The police patrolled various city roads and there was no untoward incident reported from any place of the district till filing of the report.

However, a villager was killed while four others seriously injured by police firing on the protesters, who blocked the Lahore-Sargodha Road near Thathi Behlolpur in Pindi Bhattian tehsil.

According to sources, the villagers took out a rally and blocked the road. When police reached the spot there was hide and seek between the protesters and the policemen. When the police appealed them to disperse, the protesters started brick-batting on the police as a result of which some cops received injuries. Thereupon, the police opened firing as a result of which Abu Sufyan, son of Saifullah died on the spot, while Jahangir, Zahoor Ahmad, Sarfraz Ahmad and Manzoor Ahmad sustained serious wounds, who were shifted to the THQ Hospital from where two of them referred to Allied Hospital Faisalabad in critical conditions. The protesters raised slogans against the police and demanded arrest of the cop who caused the death of one of the protesters. The police are investigating.

In Kasur, thousands of activists of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasoolallah took out a protest rally on Ferozepur Road in response to the government’s crackdown on Faizabad sit-in. carrying wooden sticks, the protesting Labaik workers chanted slogans against the government and block the road by staging a sit-in. They were of the view that one who attempted to amend Khatme Nubuwwat clause in Election Bill has no right to serve as minister. No one can make a law against Quran and Hadith in Pakistan, they declared. The protest caused severe traffic mess in the city. The Tehreek activists vowed to continue their protest until acceptance of their demand.