Overnight, many Pakistani cities were cut off from the outside as members of the Islamist TLP group demanded the release of their leader. Authorities say that roadblocks have caused oxygen supplies to Lahore hospitals to be delayed.
A significant number of TLP activists held a sit-in at Liaquat Bagh, as well as setting up “special pickets” with bamboo force on numerous highways, including the one leading to Lal Haveli (the residence of Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed).
Surprisingly, law enforcement officers and district administration appeared to be asleep at the wheel, when little action was taken against the TLP force that ruled the city. According to police spokesmen in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, 79 TLP activists were apprehended during arrests, including Ramazan Chishti, District Ameer TLP Taxila.
Officials said members of Pakistan’s far-right Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan (TLP) clashed with police on Tuesday after the party’s chief was arrested for ordering the expulsion of the French ambassador.
Authorities told Reuters that at least one police officer and one protester died during the second day of clashes in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest district.
Overnight, activists blocked key transportation routes, demanding the release of TLP chief Saad Rizvi.
Rizvi was detained on Monday after threatening the government with demonstrations if the French ambassador was not removed. The controversy stems from the printing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Hundreds of civilians were detained as a result of the clashes, and special units were called up to assist local authorities.
On Tuesday, a police officer was killed after being beaten by enraged protesters late at night.
Authorities say the demonstrators have jeopardized the care of seriously ill COVID-19 patients by closing roads.
A large number of police, Rangers, Frontier Constabulary, and officers from other law enforcement agencies has been deployed to Faizabad Interchange in order to scare the TLP staff away. To prevent a potential influx of TLP protestors, containers were also placed in lines along highways.