LAHORE: The police continued a crackdown on Monday on those involved in rioting, road blocking, damaging public property and injuring people and police officials across the province in protests after the Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case on Oct 31.
On the directions of the federal government, the Punjab police arrested on Monday 159 people for arson, vandalism, violence and attacking the police, according to a spokesperson for the police.
Of them, 44 were arrested in Sahiwal, 18 in Lahore, and five each in Rawalpindi and Nankana Sahib. Out of the total 25 FIRs registered in Punjab under serious charges against the violators, 11 were lodged in Lahore, six in Sheikhupura and four in Sahiwal. Some cases were registered under terrorism charges.
Of the 63 police officers injured by offenders, 58 were discharged from the hospitals while five others, including a DSP, were being treated for their profound injuries. On the other hand, the police record showed that the 42 vehicles damaged and set on fire belonged to the public and 16 to the Punjab police department.