ISLAMABAD: Police on Monday resort to fire tear-gas shells at hundreds of PTI workers and supporters as they tried to cross the Haroonabad Bridge in a bid enter Punjab from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
A huge crowd of PTI protesters from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa led by provincial Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has also left Peshawar to reach Islamabad anytime today.
In a bid to welcome them, police had taken their positions on the Haroonabad Bridge.
A huge contingent of Frontier Constabulary (FC) and police has taken positions around Islamabad with prison vans.
Massive crackdown against the leaders, workers and supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has been underway in the federal capital and Punjab, after party chairman Imran Khan asked them to reach Bani Gala by Monday.
Fearing the government would take an extreme step before November 2, Khan has informed his party members to escape captures and arrests and prepare for the grand protest.
However, the government launched an overnight crackdown against PTI party workers across the Punjab and arrested hundreds of its members by late on Sunday.
“Under which law the PTI workers are being arrested,” Khan asked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government on Monday.
Arif Alvi, Imran Ismail released after detention
On the orders of the interior ministry, PTI leader sArif Alvi and Imran Ismail have been released who were arrested by police despite an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order that bars the government from arresting the protesting parties’ members.
The PTI leaders wanted to enter Bani Gala, the residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, in a bid to join a party meeting when the police did not allow them to enter the premises.
After police refused them an entry into Bani Gala, the PTI leaders staged a sit-in as a protest after which they were arrested.
Television footages showed police officials forcibly pushing the two leaders in a van before whisking them away in a van.
Imran Ismail tweeted saying the two PTI leaders were taken to the Secretariat police station.
Crackdown against opposition
Crackdown around Bani Gala continued throughout the day on Monday where several PTI workers including women were taken into custody by police officials.
On Monday, two women activists of PTI were shown being dragged into a police van by women police officials as they tried to reach Bani Gala by walking across steep and inhospitable terrains after they were denied entry from the main entrance.
Only in Punjab on Sunday, police have arrested dozens of PTI workers and supporters from various areas of the walled city.
According to sources raids were conducted by police in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad and Sargodha including other regions in a bid to stop local party representation and workers to reach Islamabad on the call of Khan ahead of a mass protest in the capital.
Besides PTI activists, members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) were also arrested for supporting PTI’s November protest.