TLP leaders sent on 14-day judicial remand by ATC

F.P. Report

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday sent Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and patron-in-chief Pir Afzal Qadri along with four others to prison on a 14-day judicial remand.

During the hearing of a case related to nationwide protests and hate speech against the state institutions following the acquittal of blasphemy accused Aasia Masih by the Supreme Court.

A huge number of TLP workers and supporters had gathered outside the ATC. Strict security measures were made in and outside the court while extra security personnel were deployed to deal with any unavoidable situation.

The accused, Rizvi, Qadri, Illama Aijaz Ashrafi and Illama Farooqul Hassan have been charged with fuelling countrywide protests during which they delivered hate speeches targeting state institutions.

They have been also accused of inciting people to damage public and private property during the protests.

On October 30, 2018, nationwide protests erupted against the acquittal of blasphemy accused Aasia Masih on the call of the TLP.

Several parts of the country witnessed severe disruption as enraged protesters blocked roads and forced markets to shut down. Protesters resorted to arson and vandalism in many parts of the country and damaged private and public property in various incidents.

On November 2, 2018, the religious party called off its protest sit-ins after reaching an agreement with the federal and Punjab governments.

A day after the deal, however, the government swung into action and launched a crackdown against the protesters who vandalised public properties and also booked the top TLP leadership.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the federal government to work in collaboration with the provincial governments to bring the culprits behind bars.