Islamabad/rawalpindi - The capital police have gone tough on the protesters of Tahreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) and Sunni Tehreek blocking the Faizabad Interchange for the last 20 days.

The blockage of the twin cities main interchange has caused a great inconvenience to the residents who have had to find new routes to reach their destinations bypassing the interchange.

According to sources in the police, the law enforcers have blocked all the food supply for the protesters besides number of arrests so far, taking the tally to 286. “Some 90 protesters are being forced to leave the venue,” said a senior police official on condition of anonymity.

Besides this, he said, the police have also impounded 10 vehicles that were providing different kind of services to the protesters. The electricity of the venue has also been disconnected aimed to compel the determined participants of the sit-in to think otherwise.

An atmosphere of tension has prevailed as the protestors are facing difficulty in getting daily use items and eatables at the sit-in venue.

The police have also started arresting the fresh participants of the sit-in coming from all the sides of the venue. On Friday, according to the sources, a number of fresh participants were arrested who intended to enter the venue from Rawal Dam side. A large number of people have recently joined the sit-in after deadlock between the government and TLYR leadership prolonged. The leaders in Juma speeches showed no flexibility on the demand of resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid. They also vowed to resist any government move to disperse the protesters by using force.

Majlas-e-Shoora of TLYR also met at the sit-in venue under the chairmanship of Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi on Friday and decided to stick to their demand of law minister’s resignation. According to the police, so far registered 19 cases have been regisreted against the protesters under different sections of the law ranging from attacking the law-enforcers to disrupting peace of the city. On the other hand, the police after continuous duty and harsh weather have started falling sick. A number of police officials have reported to their seniors about their sickness and later they were sent to the hospitals for medical treatment.

Meanwhile, police have registered a case against Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi and scores of activists of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah staging a sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange on charges of robbery, kidnapping, attempted murder and interference into police matters, reliable sources disclosed to The Nation on Friday.

Similarly, police reportedly rounded up more than 30 activists of TLYR from different parts of city besides impounding six food-laden vehicles moving towards Faizabad to supply food to the protestors, they said. Superintendent of Police Rawal Division Behram Khan and Station House Officer Police Station New Town Javed Iqbal Mirza confirmed lodging of a case against the TLYR activists.

According to sources, officials of Police Station New Town on plaintiff of three injured cops have lodged a case against Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who is leading a protest demo and sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange, and scores of other activists of TLYR for injuring policemen by pelting stones, snatching official riffle from a cop and interference into police matters.

However, no arrest was made so far by the police investigators, said sources.

SHO Police Station New Town Javed Iqbal Mirza, when contacted, said police have booked Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Ameer of TLYR, and many others activists. He said that 26 accused were nominated whereas the rest were unknown in the FIR chalked under sections 324/392/365/109 of Pakistan Penal Court (PPC) on plaintiff of injured cops and the one whom the protestors snatched official riffle during protest demo on Murree Road. He said the investigation is underway while no arrest was made so far. SHO said police also seized six vehicles laden with food items being transported to Faizabad Interchange.

Talking to The Nation, SP Behram Khan said police are trying to recover the snatched riffle of a cop.

Similarly, Sadiqabad police claimed to have impounded three food-laden vehicles of TLYR activists.

On the other hand, the protestors of TLYR kept blocking the main entrance of federal capital for last 18 days creating hardships for commuters and the common people travelling between twin cities. Metro Bus Service was also remained suspended. Massive traffic jam occurred on city’s roads.

Addressing the protestors at Faizabad, Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi and other speakers condemned police atrocities against activists of TLYR. They said so far Rawalpindi and Islamabad police have arrested 285 activists and leaders of TLYR from different parts of twin cities.

They demanded immediate release of the detained activists.