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November 15, 2017

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Three cops injured in clash with Tehreek Labaik protesters

Three cops injured in clash with Tehreek Labaik protesters

ISLAMABAD: Three policemen were injured in a clash with the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) protesters, whose blockade of the Faizabad Interchange entered the seventh consecutive day on Tuesday.

Roughly 2,000 protesters want Law Minister Zahid Hamid to step down over an amendment to the Prophethood Declaration Clause in the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017. SHO and two other policemen of the I-9 police station were injured in the clash. Meanwhile, all claims of the federal and provincial government law enforcement agencies about clearing the Faizabad Interchange of TLYR protesters have failed. The number of protesters decreased from 3,000 to just 800 after the rain on Tuesday.

More than 1,500 cops of the federal capital and Rawalpindi have laid siege to the sit-in participants, stopping all kinds of food items from reaching them. IGP Islamabad said they had chalked out a plan to remove the sit-in participants from the interchange.  “We can’t disclose our plan at this stage, but we will clear Rawalpindi and Islamabad very soon.” He said the protesters were deliberately trying to escalate tension so that a clash with police would become inevitable.

Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal also said TLYR and their leaders were constitutionally allowed to register a peaceful protest, warning them against taking the law into their hands. Similarly, Provincial Intelligence Department Chief Officer Sarfraz Ahmed also assured that the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be cleared of sit-in participants very soon. 

However, the claims of federal and provincial government officials are yet to materialise. The twin cities managements are continuously issuing warning notices to the sit-in participants to leave Faizabad Interchange immediately but to no avail. The TLYR protesters have refused to open the Faizabad Interchange till acceptance of their one-point demand.

They said the government was not taking their protest seriously and was instead threatening them. TLYR leader Dr. Ashraf Asif Jalali asked the government to release the detained activists and accept their demands. Meanwhile, the trading community in a press conference asked the government to place a permanent ban on holding protests and rallies on Murree Road.

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