TLP protest, 4 policemen martyred, 263 injured, Rangers deployed
Rangers deployed on Jehlum Bridge: GT sealed at many points: seven trains cancelled between Rawalpindi and Lahore
Video grab shows clashes between police and TLP protesters.
Protests of the banned religious organization Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) Wednesday became more violent and four policemen were martyred in clashes with the protesters. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government deployed rangers in Punjab for the next 60 days to tackle the TLP’s violence.
Inspector General Punjab Police Wednesday evening held a press conference and confirmed that four policemen had embraced Shahadat in clashes with the violent protesters of TLP at GT Road.
He said that shots had been firmed by the TLP’s armed workers and resultantly, 263 personnel were also injured. He raised the question that the TLP should tell the masses that either the policemen were not the devotees of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW).
The IG Police also called back all 15,000 policemen deputed to halt the long march of the TLP workers after the notification of deployment of rangers in Punjab.
While CTO Lahore Muntazar Mehdi with a heavy contingent of Lahore police cleared the Ferozpur Road from the protesters in peaceful manners and opened the ways for general traffic.
Police sources said that the policemen were shot dead by the TLP protesters in Sadhoki area of Gujranwala. They also said that another 12 policemen were also injured in the clashes who were shifted to hospitals.
The government in a related move has deployed Rangers personnel on Jhelum bridge.
24News reported that protesters also set multiple Police vans on fire and various police mobiles are also missing.
Five cops have laid their lives in the line of duty since TLP marchers start their 'long march' from Lahore.
Authorities have deployed Punjab Rangers personnel on the Jehlum Bridge to stop the advance of the TLP protesters towards the capital Islamabad.
Pakistan Railways has decided to cancel seven trains running between Lahore and Rawalpindi. PR said that now trains from Peshawar and Rawalpindi to Karachi via Lahore are being diverted to Jund, Basal, Kandian, Sargodha, Sangla Hill, Sheikhupura, and Lahore.
Earlier, the GT Road has been sealed at many points as the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) resumed its march towards Islamabad.
The government said that it was ready to accept all demands of the TLP, including the release of its leader Saad Hussasin Rizvi, but it cannot ask the French envoy to leave the country as this would damage ties with the European Union.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, who had led the talks from the government's side, said that the government agreed to all but one demand, but the banned outfit still did not end the protest sit-in in Muridke.
The TLP had earlier called off its march to Islamabad and decided to halt it at Muridke after Sheikh Rashid assured them the government would meet their demands. TLP had stated that they would stay in Muridke peacefully till the acceptance of their demands and in case of the failure of talks, will resume their march towards the federal capital.
The authorities in Jhelum have taken steps around the main bridge to block the march there. They have placed many containers around the Chenab Bridge to restrict the movement. Many roads were also sealed in Gujranwala and Jhelum to block the TLP long march.
The Rawalpindi traffic police on Wednesday completed all arrangements for the long march of proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik and blocked Murree Road for all kinds of traffic.
Reportedly, in order to thwart any disturbance, the city administration blocked Murree Road by putting up containers on both sides of Faizabad.
The commuters using Inter Junction Principle (IJP) Road can enter Rawalpindi from an alternative route through Expressway. From Ninth Avenue Signal towards Stadium Road, there is a complete diversion.
Due to diversion at Punjab House, the traffic is being directed towards Jhanda Bazaar. The traffic is also being diverted to Sadr because of diversions at Haider Road turn towards Murree Road.
For entry into Islamabad from Rawalpindi, the Peshawar Road and Old Airport Road could be used. For entry into Rawalpindi from Rawat, Jehlum Road and Old Airport Road could be used.
To keep the traffic flow smooth, extra traffic police officials and patrolling officers will be appointed on all alternate routes.
To avoid ‘no parking’ on roads and for a better traffic flow, the extra lifters of traffic police will remain in patrolling state.
Reporters Abid Chaudhry and Usman Javed