Sunday May 15, 2022
SIALKOT: PTI leader Usman Dar and party workers on Saturday lay down in front of bulldozers in an attempt to obstruct the evacuation drive at the CTI ground, Sialkot, that the police launched to restrict the party from holding a rally at the venue.
Christians had lodged a protest against PTI for not taking prior permission from them for the rally.
The video of Dar and others laying down on the ground in a bid to stop police action went viral on social media. The workers shouted slogans to protest the police action.
Later, 10 PTI workers, including Dar and Asjad Malhi, were arrested for organising a rally at the CTI ground without the permission of the district administration.
After this, the PTI changed the venue of the rally and got Dar and others released.
Dar accompanied by a score of PTI workers arrived at CTI ground — a property of the Christian community — and started preparations for a rally, upon which police launched a crackdown and arrested Dar and many other party workers.
“We have stopped the PTI from holding a public meeting at the CTI ground on the request of the Christian community,” said Deputy Commissioner Sialkot Imran Qureshi.
He said that permission is required for holding a public meeting in a private place. Taking action on the request of the minority community, the police had got the CTI ground vacated. Christian community told the police that they perform their religious rites on the ground.
The Christian community was protesting against PTI’s call for holding a rally at their property, said the district administration.
Following police action, many PTI workers showed resistance, however police baton-charged and used tear gas to disperse PTI workers.
PTI leader Usman Dar said that a peaceful rally was their right, adding that former prime minister Imran Khan would visit Sialkot today.
The Christian community had approached the Lahore High Court, the DPO said, adding that the police took action on court orders to stop the PTI from holding the rally.
The DPO, however, said: "We are ready to give PTI an alternate place for public gathering."
Rejecting reports of arrest, DPO said that no one has been taken into custody, adding that they were just removing chairs and other stuff kept over here.