LAHORE - Tehrik-e-Nifaz Fiqa Jafferia (TNFJ) and Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) on Monday evening ended their sit-in protest against killing of Shia leader Allama Nasir Abbas.

The funeral prayer was led by TNFJ provincial chief Allama Agha Ali Abbas Qumi and was attended by thousands of protesters in front of Governor House. The dead body of slain leader was later shifted to his home town, Multan, by a helicopter. The protesters started gathering around the Governor House late Sunday night after the news of Nasir’s assassination spread through the media. They staged a sit-in which was ended on the request of daughter of the assassinated leader who addressed the demonstrators by telephone on Monday at 5pm and asked them to be peaceful.

The sit-in continued for about 18 hours and was attended by thousands of Shias, including women and children. The protesters chanted slogans like ‘Labaik Ya Hussain’ and ‘Har Ghar sey Nasir Nikley ga, tum Kitney Nasir Maro gey’. They also chanted slogans against the government. They demanded the government arrest the killers.

The Shia leaders in their address also demanded removal of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah for their failure to protect the ulema. Heavy police contingents were deployed on Mall Road to avoid any untoward incident.

On the occasion, TNFJ leaders including Allama Hussain Muqadasi, Allama Hamid Mosvi, Allama Agha Ali Hussain Qumi, Allama Gulfam Hussain Hashmi, MWM leaders Allama Abdul Khaliq Asadi, Allama Imtiaz Kazmi, Allama Abuzar Mehdvi, Allama Syed Mubarak Ali Musvi, Asad Abbas Naqvi, Syed Hussain Zaidi, Afsar Hussain Khana and others addressed the protesters.

Addressing the participants of the sit-in, the Shia leaders said that killing of Allama Nasir was a slap on the face of Punjab government. They said Ulema were being killed while the law enforcement agencies were unable to arrest the killers. The coward rulers must tell whether talking about the dialogue with terrorists is not defeat, they said.

Allama Abdul Khaliq Asadi said that no action could be expected against the terrorists from a government which had a law minister like Rana Sanaullah whom the accused of being the supporter of terrorists.

Allama Abuzar Mehdavi said that they wanted to tell the world that such heinous acts cannot demoralise them and that they won’t bow before the extremists. He expressed hope that eventually patriotic Sunnis and Shias would get the country free form the menace of terrorism. Addressing the protesters, Allama Gulfam Hussain Hashmi said that Punjab government was a hostage in the hands of terrorists. He said the blood of Allama Nasir Abbas would not go waste.

An FIR had been registered against two unknown assailants. Taking notice of the incident, Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar summoned report from Punjab IG. Shia Ulema Council has demanded judicial inquiry into the attack. Tahafuz-e-Azadari Council has announced to observe three-day mourning against the murder of Allama Nasir. Balochistan Shia Conference and Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen also strongly condemned the incident.

The sectarian killing took place nine days after a Sunni cleric Maulana Shamsur Rehman Muaiya was killed in a targeted attack in Lahore. This was third high profile sectarian target killing during a month as another Shia leader was shot dead in Karachi earlier this month.