Before a few hours of kicking off the long march towards Islamabad, the police on Tuesday detained PTI’s Senator Ejaz Chaudhry, Punjab senior leader Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed and other party workers.
Police continued to search the houses of PTI leaders and workers as the government decided to halt the PTI’s Azadi march, due to begin today (25 May).
Despite the government’s ban, former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and other party leaders committed to reaching Islamabad for the sit-in until new elections were announced.
One day earlier, Punjab Police raided the homes of various PTI leaders, including former energy minister Hammad Azhar, Usman Dar, and Babar Awan, while a policeman was also shot and killed during a raid in Lahore.
On Tuesday, police arrested PTI leader Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed during a nightly raid under section 16 of the Public Order Maintenance (POM).
Earlier, police had also searched the residence of former education minister Shafqat Mehmood, but he was not present at his house.
While denouncing the police action, PTI Punjab President Shafqat Mehmood tweeted that the police had searched his house without a search warrant.
“I wasn’t there,” he tweeted, adding, “Do they think we would be intimidated by these tactics?”
Later, the PTI spokesman stated that Senator Ejaz Chaudhry had also been arrested and moved to an unknown location.
“The place where he was staying was stormed by more than 100 police officers – the broken door was broken- the family was harassed and telephones taken. This will not dampen our spirit,” a tweet from Ejaz Chaudhry’s account said.
Police search PTI MNA’s houses, detain party workers in Karachi
In the meantime, the police also clamped down on the leadership of PTI Sindh and arrested many workers.
According to the Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, the federal cabinet decided not to let PTI move forward with its long march to prevent the spread of “fitna” and “fasad.”
In the early hours of Wednesday, police raided the area around the Shah Rasool colony in Karachi and arrested five PTI workers, including local party leader Pervaiz Khan.