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Hundreds of PAT, PTI workers arrested


ISLAMABAD: At least 700 workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek were arrested from different parts of the twin cities on Saturday, the security officials said.On the other hand, dozens were picked up from their homes, while several others were arrested while on their way to Lahore to participate in a day of mourning planned for today to commemorate the sacrifices of 14 PAT supporters who were killed in a police operation in June, ahead of Tahirul Qadri’s return to Pakistan.The PAT claims that around 1,800 of it workers were arrested, including women and children by the capital and the Punjab police. The traffic was jammed on the outskirts of the twin cities as the law enforcement agencies had blocked all the roads leading to the twin cities. Both cities, however, gave a deserted look as the residents were mostly confined to their homes due to the unavailability of fuel at the gas stations. A senior police official, on the basis of anonymity said that lists of the PTI workers were also prepared and were distributed in all the police stations. “A crackdown against the PTI workers can kick-start anytime,” the official said. Fearing arrests, many PTI workers have gone underground. Also on Saturday, hundreds of vehicles and motorbikes of the PAT and PTI workers were impounded and taken to unknown location.Meanwhile, the police personnel were deployed at all the entry and exit points of the twin cities to check and detain the PAT activists. The police placed barriers and shipping containers on all the roads and crossings in and around the twin cities. According to the police sources, up to 700 shipping containers have so far been placed on the roads.About 1,200 containers, which have been seized by the police, were plying on the roadsides. The owners of the containers complained that they were not even given a chance to unload their sensitive and costly goods from the containers.

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