Islamabad: Protesters who had been detained during Faizabad operation and the ensuing chaos province-wide were released from prisons across Punjab on Wednesday, prison sources said.
According to prison sources, 458 protesters were released from eight prisons across the province on the orders of the provincial government. The protesters were released from Adiala, Kot Lakhpat, Sahiwal, Attock and other prisons across the province. Those protesters with cases registered against them would only be released after due court proceedings, the
It was earlier reported that Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif had ordered release of all the protesters detained during sit-ins over the past few days. Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore had reportedly received instructions to release 170 workers of a religious group, which had been protesting and staging sit-ins countrywide over the past three weeks demanding the
resignation of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
The weeks-long protest at Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad was called off on Monday following the voluntary resignation of Zahid Hamid and an agreement signed between the government and protesters. Following the negotiations, the leader of the religious group appealed to protesters across the country to disperse. However, protesters belonging to a separate faction of the religious group have refused to wrap up their sit-in at Lahore’s Mall Road Charing Cross, saying they will not leave until their demands are met.
These protesters, from a different faction of the same religious group, are demanding the resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, and have said they will not disperse even after demonstrations across the country ended earlier this week, restoring life to normalcy in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Karachi and other cities. The rest of the city, meanwhile, is back to normal as traffic flow has been restored after road blockades were removed. Metro bus service was restored earlier this week after it remained closed over the weekend due to the protests.
Educational institutions in the province re-opened on Wednesday, after remaining closed on Monday and Tuesday in view of the law and order situation. The demonstrations and sit-ins held in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the Faizabad operation resulted in at least one death and left dozens injured, besides over 200 injuries reported in Islamabad.