LAHORE - A volatile situation on the second day of protests by the Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah workers irked the citizens and restricted their movement within the city.

Ghulam Hussain (42), a resident of Wahdat Road who runs his business in Abid Market, told The Nation that he could not find his way back to home from his office due to the road blockade and it was so painful. “My children are waiting for me at home and these protesters have blocked the roads in the name of religion. This is completely unfair. I support their right to protest, but blockade of roads as a tool to have their demands accepted is not justified in any way,” he said. He said that his brother-in-law runs a business on The Mall and he comes from Sheikhupura on a daily basis. His business is suffering due to the road blockade, he said.

Yasir (28) is a worker at a paan shop at Qartaba Chowk. He said protesters were not allowing anyone to cross the barriers, not even senior citizens who told them that they live nearby. “It is only the common man who is suffering due to the protests,” he said.

Sit-ins in parts of the city also restricted the movement of cab services like Uber and Careem. Rickshaw drivers were also affected by the tense situation, which persisted till late in the night.

Waheed Akhtar, a rickshaw driver and resident of Mela Ram Park, said, “I earn Rs1,500 to Rs2,000 daily, but these protests have brought my daily earning down to Rs350 to Rs700. I understand the reason for the protest, but my children do not. They need food,” he said.

Wheelchair-bound Bao Wasim Raza (65), who owns a restaurant at Mozang Adda, said, “I go to Ichchra Bazaar every day to buy milk for my children. Usually, it takes me 15 minutes to reach my destination. On Wednesday, it took me more than 45 minutes due to blockade of Ferozepur Road.”

“I don’t think protesters are doing any service to the country. Burning state assets and restricting people’s movement will not do any good. They have to respect the writ of the state and continue their protest peacefully, without disturbing the state affairs,” he said.

Labourer Abdul Hafeez, who was riding a bicycle in Abid Market, wanted to cross the barriers put up by the protesters, but he was told to take some other route to his home in Ichchra. “I don’t know if heavens will fall if the protesters will allow me to cross the barrier, which has been set up just to disrupt lives of ordinary people like me,” he said.