Punjab govt submits report in SC on damages during religious parties’ protests

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government on Saturday submitted a report in the Supreme Court regarding the losses and damage to property during the three-day long countrywide sit-ins staged by religious parties following a top court verdict acquitting Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case against her.

As per the Punjab government’s report, private and public property worth Rs260 million was damaged during the sit-ins.

Protests had erupted in several cities after the Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, on October 31.

Enraged masses had blocked several routes across the country for two days, while at some places they had also set fire to vehicles. The demonstrations saw closure of schools, colleges and universities, as well as cancellation of examinations.

The government and the protesters from different religious groups, led by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), reached an agreement two days later on Friday, November 2.

The government, however, decided to take action against miscreants involved in vandalism, torture and arson during the demonstrations, leading to a crackdown on rioters across the country.

The law enforcement agencies had rounded up around 1800 individuals and booked them under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

On November 6, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar, while taking notice of vandalism in reaction to the Asia Bibi case verdict, Tuesday sought a report from federal and provincial governments on damage caused to public and private property during last week’s countrywide protests.

The chief justice took notice for the sake of compensating affected people, read a statement issued by the Supreme Court.

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