700 protesters arrested

Supporters of executed Islamist Mumtaz Qadri shout slogans during an anti-government protest in front of the parliament building in Islamabad on March 28, 2016. Thousands of supporters of an executed Islamist assassin were holding a sit-in in Islamabad on March 28, after submitting a list of demands including the execution of a female Christian blasphemy convict. Mumtaz Qadri was hanged on February 29 for killing a Punjab governor over his call for blasphemy reform, in what analysts said was a "key moment" in Pakistan's long battle against religious extremism. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI

ISLAMABAD: Over 700 protesters were picked up from parts of the city and sent to various jails in Punjab, Dawn learnt from officials of the capital police on Monday.

Of these, 500 protesters were arrested last night, during the clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials, and a few of the leaders were also arrested.

The remaining arrests were made on Monday. A source said that those who are sitting in protest at D-Chowk and Parade Ground are not being picked up, but some of those who leave – perhaps to leave the sit-in or to use washing facilities – are being arrested.

The arrested protesters are kept in different locations, some in police stations, and later moved to jails in districts near the capital, sources said.

The process of moving those arrested to jails is a slow one, according to one police official.

He explained that because of the large number of arrests, capital police were first making sure if a particular jail had enough space before sending the protesters. -Dawn


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