Khadim Rizvi and other TLP leaders sent to jail on judicial remand

  • Members of far-right religio-political group face charges over inciting protesters to damage public property during anti-blasphemy demos last year

LAHORE – An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Punjab capital yesterday sent Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Pir Afzal Qadri and four others to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

A large number of TLP activists and supporters gathered outside the court. Strict security arrangements were made in and outside the court while a heavy contingent of security personnel was deployed to deal with any unforeseen situation.

Earlier this month, the ATC had remanded them in police custody for 20 days.

Rizvi, along with a number of his followers, was taken into ‘protective custody’ in November last year after law enforcement agencies began a countrywide crackdown on the far-right religio-political outfit, which paralysed normal life across the country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Aasia Bibi – a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, on October 31.

Khadim Rizvi, other TLP leaders charged with terrorism, treason

Rizvi, Qadri, Allama Aijaz Ashrafi and Illama Farooqul Hassan have been accused of delivering hate speeches against the state institutions and fuelling countrywide protests. The TLP leaders have also been charged with inciting people to damage public and private property during the protests.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi in ‘protective custody’ amid police crackdown on TLP (VIDEO)

According to the figures issued by the government, a total of 2,899 people were taken into protective custody from across Punjab while 139 persons from Sindh and 126 from Islamabad were also taken into custody during the crackdown.