Islamabad/Rawalpindi - Tension prevails at the venue of the sit-in staged by the activists of Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah at Faizabad here amidst reports of a planned operation by the law-enforcers.

On the 8th day of the sit-in, there were rumours that the police operation was imminent to clear the area. The rumours continued circulating on social media that the government has decided to conduct a small scale operation against the protesters at Faizabad.

Social media advised the residents around the venue in Sector I-8 to keep their doors and windows closed and locked, as they may feel the presence of tear gas in the area in case police use force against the protesters.  The protesters were also told frequently from the stage that the police have encircled them ahead of the operation and asked them to get ready for the onslaught.

The announcement created panic among the ranks of the protesters as well. They also clashed with the police on the spot which ended in stone pelting and minor injuries to at least six police officials. They were immediately shifted to PIMS for medical treatment. The injured included Muhammad Maqbool, Rehmatullah, Asghar Ali, Ghulam Qasim Khan, Irfan Ahmed and Muhammad Razzaq.

Meanwhile, the activists of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasul Allah kept the Faizabad Interchange occupied and refused to end the sit-in despite the heavy rain that hit the twin cities on Tuesday.

The rebellion on part of TLYR protestors has caused immense troubles for the residents of twin cities which have been suffering from the gigantic traffic jam on all the major roads. The efforts made by police of stopping the supply of food created further unrest in the area.

“Though there is no plan to disperse the protesters by force by the government, the local and district administration started homework and it collected the information about the protesters,” said an official of police. He said that the provincial government was not interested to take action against the protesters and it did not ask the administration and local police to hold talks with them.

“When we sought directions of the government, it said that the federal government will deal with them. The protesters staged a sit-in in Islamabad area, however, the people from Rawalpindi join them on daily basis,” he said.

He said, “According to the police report, all the main leaders of TLYRA booked their rooms in the hotels of Faizabad where they would stay to avoid the arrest. Many workers are hiding in different mosques in nearby localities and they would join the protest in case of police action.”

When contacted, Sunni Tehreek spokesman Naeem Raza said that the protest would continue till the demands are fulfilled and the protesters will start talks with the government after the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid.

He said that the protest was launched to identify those who were involved in making changes to Khatam-e-Nabuwat declaration for electoral candidates. He said that it was a serious issue but the government was trying to hide the facts from the people.

Meanwhile, the District Bar Association also joined the protesters and demanded the resignation of the law minister while imposing a ban on his entry in the district bar.

The meeting of the bar association was held under the chairmanship of District Bar Association President Sajjad Akbar Abbasi on Tuesday and later, the association delegation went to Faizabad to express solidarity with the protesters.

District Bar Association President Sajjad Akbar Abbasi told The Nation that the bar demanded Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to take action against the Law Minister Zahid Hamid, as the parliamentary committee led by Raja Zafarul Haq held the law minister responsible for changing the Khatam-e-Nabuwat declaration for electoral candidates.

He said that protesters were exercising their right to freedom of expression and any police action against them would be dangerous. He said lawyers supported the protesters and expressed solidarity with them.