Rawalpindi/ islamabad   -   The irate leaders and activists of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) kept staging protest and blocking roads in twin cities even on Tuesday to protest arrest of their chief Allama Saad Rizvi while paralysing normal life.

A large number of TLP activists staged a sit-in at Liaquat Bagh besides placing “special pickets” on various roads including the one leading to Lal Haveli (residence of Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed) with bamboo force to control public movement. Surprisingly, the law enforcement agencies as well as district administration seemed in slumber because no action was taken against the force of TLP which was controlling the city. As many as 79 activists of TLP including Ramazan Chishti, District Ameer TLP Taxila, have been rounded up by Rawalpindi and Islamabad police during raids, according to police spokesmen.

The others roads blocked by TLP activists including GT Road Gujar Khan, Rawat, T Chowk, Tarnol, Chungi Number 26, Taxila, Wah Cantt and other parts caused gigantic traffic rush increasing the miseries of public. In Bharakahu, Islamabad police carried out a massive operation under the supervision of SSP Operations Dr Syed Mustafa Tanveer to open road for traffic.

In order to push the TLP workers away from Faizabad Interchange, a heavy contingent of police, Rangers, Frontier Constabulary and personnel of other law enforcement agencies have also been deputed there. Containers were also put up in lines on roads to stop possible flood of TLP activists. 

IG Islamabad Qazi Jamil Ur Rehman, City Police Officer Rawalpindi Muhamamd Ahsan Younas also visited the area to monitor the arrangements made by police to maintain law and order situation.

According to details, tens of hundreds of TLP workers continued blocking roads in various parts of twin cities to press the government to release Allama Saad Rizvi, the chief of TLP. In Rawalpindi, Murree Road, Rawat and Gujar Khan were under complete control of TLP activists. They burnt tyres and other stuff in the middle of roads besides placing heavy vehicles in the middle of roads to stop vehicular movement. On Murree Road, the TLP workers placed checkpoints and restricted public movement. The mob also uprooted tiles from Metro Route and the medians along with Murree Road to pelt on police in case of any action by the LEAs. Scores of government run offices including RDA, WASA, Al Bayrak, Education Department, Tehsil Office and others remained closed as TLP workers did not allow the officers and officials to cross barricades to reach their offices. 

Interestingly, the district administration and the police remained absent from all the troubled points while leaving the commuters and pedestrians at the mercy of TLP force. “These goons made the whole city hostage with bamboos and sticks, stopping us even from going to our homes,” said Ahmed Nazir, a resident of Bhabra Bazaar. He said blocking a road leading to Lal Haveli by masked men of TLP with stick in hands exposed poor grip of government over the volatile situation, he added.

Police during action also arrested 39 activists of TLP from various parts of district, according to a senior police officer of Punjab police. Some unknown people also distributed packed food (rice) among the participants of sit-in at Liaquat Bagh. In Islamabad, more than 120 TLP workers and leaders blocked Athal Chowk in Bharakahu. Resultantly, a massive traffic jam occurred. The irate mob of TLP was chanting slogans against the police and government for detaining their leader Allama Saad Rizvi in Lahore.

The violent activists of TLP also made anti-government speeches on sound systems installed on vehicles. 

According to a police spokesman, a police team, led by SSP Operations Dr Syed Mustafa Tanveer, launched an operation in Bharakahu and opened the road for traffic by dispersing the protestors. “As many as 40 activists of TLP were held by police and cases also registered against them under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance (MPO),” he said.

He said the senior police officers of Islamabad police including IG Qazi Jamil Ur Rehman, DIG Operations Afzal Ahmed Kausar, SSP Investigation Atta Ur Rehman and others remained on high alert to deal with any crunch moment in the capital. SSP Traffic Islamabad Farrukh Rashid also issued traffic advisory to facilitate the commuters. 

Rush was observed on major avenues and highways of Islamabad. Keep margin time of 30 minutes, said a police spokesman.

He said diversion placed at Dhokri Chowk and Kashmir Chowk towards Bharakahu, till Bharakahu main road. Alternatively, traffic from Murree to Islamabad will take left turn from Shahpur village then Simly Dam road, then Prince Road to reach Islamabad via Imran Khan Chowk, he said. Diversion placed for both sides of traffic at Rawat Bazaar. Alternatively, Peshawar Road can be used. Diversion placed at Tarnol Rail Gate for both sides of traffic. Alternatively, traffic is diverted to Motorway, he said adding that all sides of Faizabad are closed at IJP Road for both sides of traffic at 9th Avevnue Signal. Alternatively, 9th Avenue can be used.Faisal Avenue for both sides of traffic at I-8 Interchange. Alternatively, Garden Av. and I-8 loop can be used.

Islamabad Highway incoming traffic is diverted at Khanna Pull. Alternatively, incoming traffic can use Lehtrar Road then Tramri Chowk and then Rawal Dam Chowk to Murree Road towards Srinagar Highway. Islamabad Highway outgoing traffic is diverted at Sohan. Murree Road from Islamabad to Faizabad is diverted at Orchids Scheme. Murree Road from Rawalpindi is diverted at Stadium Road to facilitate the commuters Alternatively, Stadium Road can be used to reach 9th Avenue. 

Till the filing of this report, TLP activists were staging sit-in at Liaquat Bagh and blocking roads in Rawat and Gujar Khan.