MULTAN/SIALKOT/KASUR/KHANEWAL/

HAFIZABAD/GUJRANWALA/TOBA TEK SINGH

People in Punjab staged protests, took out rallies and observed shutdown in protest against the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri here on Monday. These protests, however, remained peaceful.

In Multan, Tehreek Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat (TTNR) strongly condemned on Monday the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, and declared to hold his funeral in absentia (ghaibana namaz-e-janaza) at Chowk Hussain Agahi on Tuesday (today).

The activists of TTNR and other religious parties chanted anti-government slogans and marched through different roads.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters took to the roads to protest the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri in different areas of Multan. Main trading centres like Hussain Agahi, Chowk Bazaar, Kalay Mandi, Haram Gate, Bohar Gate and Shaheen Market remained shut due to the protests.

In Sialkot, thousands of people including local Ulema and students of religious seminaries participated in the protest rallies taken out in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur, Badiana, Chawinda and surrounding areas against the execution of Mumtaz Qadari.

The protesters workers of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, Sunni Tehreek, Jamaat-e-Islami, Shabab-e-Milli and Jamiat Ahle Hadith marched through main roads and chanted anti-government slogans. They were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the government decision to execute Qadri.

The protesters blocked traffic by burning tyres on main Sialkot-Daska-Gujranwala Road. In Sialkot, hundreds of protesting people also kept the traffic blocked on various inter-city roads including Paris Road, Allama Iqbal Chowk, Hajipura-Daska Road, Naikapura Road, Sialkot-Daska Road, Sialkot-Pasrur Road, China Chowk, Gulistan Chowk, Kashmir Road and Sialkot-Sambrial Wazirabad Road by burning tyres against the execution of Mumtaz Qadari.

In Sambrial, the protesters lodged strong protest by blocking traffic on main GT Road in Sambrial city.

In Kasur, a complete shutdown was observed across the district to protest the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri here on Monday.

All bazaars and markets remained closed and citizens along with religious leaders took out rallies and raised slogans against the government. The protests in different areas disrupted traffic.

In Khanewal, protests were held all the tehsils and sub-tehsils against the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri. The main protest rally was taken out from Markazi Jamia Masjid Chowk Khanewal city.

The protesters marched through roads and forced the traders to close their business. Workers of Sunni Tehreek, Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan, Anjuman Tulba-e-Islam, Anjuman Raza-e-Mustfa and Anjuman Nojawannan-e-Islam chanted slogan against the government. The rally concluded in Kalma Chowk where religious scholar including Maulana Fateh Muhammad Hamdi, Mufti Shaukat Ali Sialvi, Mufti Abdul Hameed Chishti, Mufti Abdul Razzaq Golarvi, Sahibzada Azizur Rehman Hamdi, Zulfiqar Rzvi and Shahid Raza Qadri addressed the protesters.

In Hafizabad, the activists of different religious parties took out a rally against the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri here on Monday.

Led by JUP (Noorani) Punjab President Barrister Syed Wasimul Hassan Naqvi, Syed Usman Shah of Sunni Tehrik, Rana Muhammad Asghar Chishti of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, Allama Faisal Nadeem Kelani, Allama Habib Ullah Jalali and Syed Zulqarnain Shah, the activists paraded main thoroughfares of the city, chanting slogans against the government. They blocked traffic near Jamia Al-Farooq for some time.

Traders of different markets also observed partial shutdown. The DBA Hafizabad also observed strike to protest the hanging of Qadri.

The district administration made foolproof security arrangements to prevent any incident.

In Gujranwala, Jamaat Ahle Sunnat and Sunni Tehreek staged a protest against the execution of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri here at Pindi Bypass on Monday. The angry protesters chanted slogans against the government, broke the windscreen of a bus and cabin of traffic police.

They also blocked GT Road for hours, causing severe traffic jam. The protest continued till filing this report. A large number of police personnel were deployed at the scene to avert any unpleasant incident.

In Toba Tek Singh, the activists of different religious organisations took out rallies against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri. The participants raised slogans "Go Nawaz Go" and after marching different roads gathered at Shahbaz Chowk. There Maulana Munem Husnain Siddiqi, Maulana Burq Toheedi, Mufti Muhammad Aslam and Maulana Abdul Manan addressed the participants. Meanwhile, the District Bar Association observed strike to condemn the hanging to Mumtaz Qadri.