Rawalpindi - Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi Bench, yesterday directed police not to apprehend workers of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and remove all the containers from roads.

While hearing two petitions against imposition of section 144 and road blockage by City District Government Rawalpindi (CGDR) and local police, LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Atir Mehnood ordered City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi and District Coordination Officer (DCO) Talat Mahmood Gondal not to nab the PTI workers and remove the blockades.

The court adjourned the hearing for Wednesday after Additional Advocate General Rashid Hafeez argued that an identical issue was pending before full bench of the LHC in Lahore and propriety demanded that Justice Atir needed to wait for decision of the full bench.

Responding to a court query on arrest of PTI workers and road blockades, AAG Rashid Hafeez maintained that under police order 2002, the law-enforcers could block roads to maintain law and order. He further said that the DCO imposed section 144 to maintain peace in the city and the PTI workers were arrested for violating the ban on public gatherings. He said that the arrested workers had to obtain bail from relevant court of law.

The court was hearing two identical petitions. First petition was filed by Sheikh Athar Jamil, resident of Khyaban-e-Sir Syed, challenging the police actions against protestors that created problems for Rawalpindi citizens.

The second petition was filed by Advocate Umair Tanveer Butt, a PTI activist, asking the court to stop the police from blocking roads, arresting PTI workers, and harassing them.

Meanwhile, different courts of law awarded bails to some 20 PTI arrested workers.

In first case, four men were arrested by Airport police and they were produced before Magistrate Waqar Mansoor Baryar who granted them bail on personal surety bonds.

In another case, Saddar Berooni police produced 14 and Ganjmandi police produced two arrested men before court of Magistrate Jahanzeb Amman Hafeez. The court granted them bail on personal surety bonds.

The city police continued raiding houses of local PTI leaders till Imran Khan announced to postpone his planned lockdown of Islamabad. Heavy contingent of police swooped in houses of PTI MPA Ijaz Khan Jazzi and Ilyas Subhani to arrest them but both the leaders managed to dodge the police.

Following the announcement of postponement of the sit-in, the police started removing blockades from roads and stopped raiding houses of PTI leaders.