Islamabad police on Friday lodged two more cases against Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who is leading Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah demonstrators camped out at the entrance to the capital.
Rizvi has already been booked for the death of a child, who passed away after the ambulance taking him to a hospital was blocked by the protesters.
Pir Aijaz Afzal and other leaders and participants of the Islamabad protest sit-in have been also nominated in the two First Information Report (FIRs).
Staffers of a private TV channel nominated the protesting leaders in a case pertaining to the violence against the TV channel crew. According to the FIR, the media team was attacked, tortured, threatened and their vehicles were also smashed. The protesters also snatched their cameras, the complaint stated.
The second case was lodged on the complaint of Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Chandio for the violation of Section 144 by the protesters, along with other charges.
Both the cases were registered at the I9 Police Station.
According to the plaintiff of the earlier FIR, he was taking his eight-month-old son, who was suffering from diarrhea, to a hospital in Islamabad for medical treatment but their path was blocked by protesters.
He said that there was no way to move forward and the ambulance was stopped by protesters at the Faizabad Interchange. Despite a number of requests, he said, the demonstrators did not allow the ailing child to proceed to the hospital.
“I managed to take him to another hospital near Khanna, where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival,” he added.
The FIR charged the men under section 322 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with the punishment for ‘Qatal bis sabab‘, or unintentional murder.
Rally demands removal of law minister
More than 3,000 people camped out on the edge of the capital have been demanding the removal of the country’s law minister over the Elections Act 2017 controversy.
The rally began with a few hundred members of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah party who had gathered earlier this week at the main Faizabad crossing outside Islamabad.
By Friday afternoon, the gathering grew to over 3,000, disrupting public life and prompting police to set up shipping containers on the throughway to prevent the protesters from entering the city.
The demonstrators seek the removal of Zahid Hamid, although he has apologised and said the changes in the requirement to declare belief in the finality of prophethood under elections laws was a clerical mistake which was later corrected by the parliament.
But demonstrators claim Hamid made the omission purposefully to appease a minority sect.
Addressing emotionally charged demonstrators, Khadim Hussain Rizvi said they will not end their protest until the government has sacked Hamid. “We will not allow anyone to change Islamic laws,” he said.
The government said it wants the protesters to peacefully disperse and authorities are in communication with Rizvi to end the sit-in along with the other clerics in attendance. The rally has also caused inconvenience to commuters as authorities have suspended the only bus service linking Rawalpindi with Islamabad.
Authorities have hinted at using force over the weekend if their talks with Rizvi fail.
On Friday evening, authorities started cordoning the rally amid rumors of imminent action against the demonstrators, who have virtually sieged an important entry gateway into the capital.