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TLP protests disrupt oxygen supply for Covid-19 patients in critical care

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TLP protests disrupt oxygen supply for Covid-19 patients in critical care

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Pakistan is witnessing its second day of protests by the supporters of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan who have disrupted traffic in many cities of the country.

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Police in Shahdara town Lahore have booked senior leaders of TLP on charges of murder and attempt to murder, among others, after its nationwide protests turn violent after the arrest of the party chief.

As per details, five senior party leaders including, Saad Rizvi, Aijaz Rasool, Muhammad Qasim and others have been booked in Lahore police FIR.

Tayyab Rizvi announced in statement that there was no truth to reports that the protests had been called off. “They will continue till the French ambassador is deported,” he said. He added that party workers will participate in the protests till they are told otherwise by the party chief. He also said party workers had been martyred in firing incidents in Karachi, Lahore and Talagang. “The number of TLP workers martyred has risen to 12,” he said.

Four people including a policeman were killed in Lahore and more than 100 supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were arrested overnight from various cities as the extremist group’s violent protest continued for the second day following arrest of its chief Saad Rizvi. The identity of other three deceased remains unknown. Around 300 policemen are said to have been injured in the riots.

Behind the news: On Monday, party chief Allama Saad Hussain Rizvi was arrested in Lahore, ahead of the deadline the party had given for its 20 April protest, demanding the deportation of the French ambassador in the aftermath of the blasphemous caricatures published in France. The protestors are also demanding import of goods from France be banned.

Saad Rizvi, Chief of TLP

The arrest: On Sunday, in a video message, the party chief asked TLP workers to be ready to launch the long march if the government failed to meet the deadline. Rizvi’s arrest was made at 2 PM in Lahore on Wahdat Road, where the TLP chief was on his way to attend a funeral.

Leading the protests: Saad Hussain Rizvi, who had called for country wide protests on Sunday, is the son of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the previous chief and founder of the TLP who passed away in November of last year.

Casualties: On Monday, at least two people were killed and several others including policemen were injured when the protests led to violence across cities.

Protests happening in Lahore

Covid-19 crisis: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said, “Please do not block roads for ambulances and for visitors to the hospitals. Some ambulances are carrying oxygen cylinders, which are extremely essential for Covid patients,” as the protests caused a crisis by disrupting oxygen supply to hospitals. Asad Aslam, the Punjab pandemic pointman, said several hospitals faced oxygen shortages on Monday night, but the situation eased when authorities brought traffic under control.

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