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Agencies
November 5, 2018
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Asia Bibi protests: Crackdown on rioters begins

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A
Agencies
November 5, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry has started criminal proceedings against rioters involved in destroying property during the three-day countrywide protests against a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been on death row in a blasphemy case.  The police have registered cases against 19 rioters and taken into custody two people from Karachi's Korangi area.

In the federal capital, 11 suspects were arrested for their involvement in inciting violence and damaging public property. Serious charges have been filed in the FIRs against those delivering incendiary speeches. Police said more than 100 unknown people were wanted for participating in riots.

The ministry on Sunday released initial pictures of the miscreants involved in vandalising property and harming common citizens during the demonstrations, which ended on Friday after the government reached an agreement with the protesters. 

The ministry also appealed to citizens to cooperate with the police and the Federal Investigation Agency in identifying the rioters.  “We will release more pictures of those involved in rioting and destroying public property in the coming days,” a statement from the interior ministry read.

“The interior ministry received pictures from the Special Branch and other sources. We have asked the police and the FIA for their cooperation in identifying the perpetrators," it said. It further requested citizens to inform the police and FIA after identifying the troublemakers. The interior ministry also directed the police and FIA to take action after identifying the perpetrators. A special cell has been constituted to collect videos of miscreants involved in damaging property and harassing citizens.

The public has also been asked to share any related videos with government on WhatsApp at the number 03315480011. Names of those sharing videos will be kept confidential.

On Saturday, the interior ministry assured of action against elements involved in destroying properties and harming common citizens. The ministry said it was in the process of identifying such elements and that action will be taken against them.

The same day, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and senior leader Afzal Qadri were booked on charges of rioting and disrupting peace in various parts of Lahore.

Police said 500 people, including Rizvi and Qadri, have been booked in 11 cases. The suspects face charges of disrupting peace and blocking roads in Lahore.

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