LAHORE - The district government has decided to detain at least 284 workers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for 30 days period under the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960.

The lists prepared by police and the district intelligence branch are approved by the Lahore’s deputy commissioner. The lists along with details of the political activists are also sent to police in Lahore to ensure arrests at the earliest. The arrested persons will be shifted to Lahore’s Camp Jail immediately for a period of 30 days. Mostly local leaders and councilors are among those to be detained by police.

An official on Saturday said that police were conducting raids in many parts of the metropolis to arrest all those people mentioned in the lists.  According to an official letter (a copy of which is available with The Nation), these activists were involved in objectionable activities and they chanted slogans to provoke and incite general public against the government during the protest rally in Lahore. They also delivered objectionable speeches at Lahore’s Faisal Chowk on The Mall during the protest rally taken over by opposition parties to mark the ‘Black Day’ on the first anniversary of the last year general elections.

“There are credible information that the above-mentioned activists along with their accomplices will block Regal Chowk on The Mall, and create law and order situation and cause harassment amongst the general public. They have become a potential threat / danger to public peace and tranquility and cause law and order situation. Such activists/miscreants will give rise to situation prejudicial to public safety and maintenance of public order, if they are not checked.” 

The government issued the detention orders of political workers in Lahore as police registered criminal cases against many leaders of the leading opposition parties for taking out anti-government rallies.  Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, and veteran politician Javed Hashmi are among several parliamentarians who were booked by police under various sections of the law.  Opposition parties on Thursday took out protest rallies in several big cities to mark ‘Black Day’ in connection with the first anniversary of the last year general elections. The opposition parties unanimously rejected election results stating that the PTI government came to power by stealing votes.

On Friday, at least five separate FIRs were registered with Lahore’s Civil Lines and Qila Gujjar Singh Police Stations. No less than 58 political leaders and activists were named in these first information reports.

The cases were registered under Sections 147,149, 290, 291, 353, 186, 427 of the PPC and the Punjab Sound System (Regulation) Act 2015, and the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960. The FIRs were lodged by police on the complaint of the station house officers.

The Lahore city district government issued detention orders of hundreds of political workers despite clear-cut orders of PM Imran Khan not to stop rallies of the opposition parties.