Punjab govt bans public gatherings in Lahore ahead of PTI rally, Aurat March

Punjab govt bans public gatherings in Lahore ahead of PTI rally, Aurat March

Lahore (Web Desk): The Punjab Home Department imposed Section 144 in Lahore banning public rallies in the provincial capital ahead of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally and Aurat March on Wednesday.

According to a notification issued by Punjab Home Department, number of rallies and protests are held therein on daily basis at different places of Lahore, which not only pose serious security threats but also disrupt traffic and cause inconvenience to public at large.

"Hence, in the context of the prevailing overall security situation in the wake of the recent wave of terrorism and latest threat alerts, it has been necessary to impose Section 144 of Cr.P.C, 1898 on holding of all kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sits-in, rallies, processions, demonstrations, jalsas, dharnas, protests and such like other activities across the district Lahore to avert any untoward incident," the notification stated.

The development comes ahead of PTI's planned public rally which was set to begin from Zaman Park to Data Darbar.

PTI chief Imran Khan was expected to address the rally at Data Darbar and announce his party's future line of action.

Meanwhile, Lahore police arrested several PTI workers from the Zaman Park area for violating Section 144.

Speaking to newsmen, PTI leader Hammad Azhar said that a large number of people will attend today's rally.

"How can you ban public gatherings when elections are taking place on April 30?" asked Azhar.

He said that the rally was supposed to begin in a while but the roads were being blocked now and police was arresting PTI workers.

Hamad alleged that Rana Sanaullah wants bloodshed but the party will not give them a chance to do so. "They have imposed a ban on public gatherings to stop the rally," he added.

He said that the caretaker chief minister is obstructing the democratic process, however, his job is to only conduct elections. "It is not right to violate human rights just ahead of the elections."

Earlier, the Punjab Home Department asked the PTI's leaders to take “extra precaution” in view of party’s rally in the city, saying such public gatherings in the face of security threats are “not advisable”.

The home department authorities conveyed concerns to PTI Central Punjab President Dr Yasmin Rashid through a letter.