LAHORE - The protest by Tehrik-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi continued for the second day Thursday, leaving the masses in the lurch.

Despite Prime Minister Irman Khan’s warning, mobsters rule the roost in the provincial metropolis as well as some other strongholds in the country. The police remained disappeared in the Punjab capital.

The protests spread to every nook and corner of the province on Thursday afternoon as more religious groups especially students of religious schools joined the demonstration.

The religious group – TLYR – called for countrywide protests and staged sit-ins in big cities and small towns to protest against the verdict of the country’s top court in connection with a blasphemy case involving a Christian woman Aasia Bibi.

In Lahore, all important crossings, intercity roads, and interchanges are closed for all kind of traffic since Wednesday. Similar protest demonstrations are also underway in several other cities of the province.

Not enough, universities, colleges, and schools are closed while business centers and markets remained shut on the second consecutive day on Thursday. Authorities have also suspended mobile phone services in many parts of the province.

Clashes also erupted between protesters and motorists over roadblocks in different parts of the city on Thursday. A PTI leader Chaudhry Khalid Gujjar fired warning shots when some protesters did not allow him to cross roadblocks. This firing incident took place near Karyal Phatak in Riwind on Thursday evening, police sources said. Also, protesters thrashed a few motorcyclists near Mozang as they tried to cross the road.

Motorists were left at the mercy of religious hardliners as police were nowhere. The roadblocks are disrupted the movement of ambulance in the city. Heavy transport vehicles were seen stuck on both sides of the national highways. Also, protesters blocked several busy crossings by placing trucks and tractor-trolleys in the middle of the roads.

Protesters set a police mobile van and two bikes on fire as policemen tried to use force to disperse the mob near Chungi Amarsidhu. A police spokesman said that at least six policemen were wounded during the clashes.

Lahore DIG (Operations) Waqas Nazir on Wednesday ordered the police to stay on high-alert. But, there was no police deployment seen on roads and around markets in Lahore on Thursday.

Almost all leading markets and business centers remained closed on the second consecutive day on Thursday as shopkeepers avoided to reopen their business citing security reasons. Also, public transports disappeared from the city roads.

The intercity transports and metro bus service also remained suspended in Lahore where citizens are advised by the district administration to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel. Train service has also been suspended due to the violent protests in Punjab.