Around 500 workers and leaders of Imran Khan’s party arrested as part of ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ protest in Punjab province

LAHORE, Feb 28: Another 280 activists of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have been arrested during the last two days, taking the total number of arrests to 500, as the party continues its “Jail Bharo Tehreek” (court arrest movement) in Punjab province.
According to police, 130 PTI workers and leaders have courted arrest from Gujranwala and another 150 from Sargodha of Punjab.
Over 500 PTI activists have been arrested so far, mostly from Punjab as part of the movement launched on February 22 from Lahore, according to police.
On Tuesday, a large number of PTI workers gathered in Sahiwal city, some 200 kms from Lahore, for court arrest.
The caretaker Punjab Government has said that the arrested PTI workers and leaders have been sent to different jails in the province for 30 days under a public maintenance order.
The PTI says it has launched the “Jail Bharo Tehreek” over the violation of fundamental rights, abuse of the Constitution and the economic meltdown in the country.
The party has said that every day a few hundred PTI workers and leaders will present themselves for arrest from different cities till the movement achieves its objective.
Meanwhile, on PTI’s petition for the ‘recovery’ of the party’s senior leaders arrested in connection with its “Jail Bharo Tehreek”, the Punjab Government told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that they have been detained in different jails across the province for 30 days.
“PTI vice chairman and former foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi have been detained in Attock jail, PTI secretary general Asad Umar in Rajanpur, former Punjab governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema in Bhakkar, Senator Walid Iqbal in Layyah, Senator Azam Swati in Rahim Yar Khan and former Punjab Minister in Murad Raas,” the Punjab government law official said.
Fearing that the country’s intelligence agencies may inflict torture on them at an undisclosed location, last week, PTI asked the LHC to seek the ‘recovery’ of the party’s senior leaders who had courted arrest.
PTI chief and ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his party started the “Jail Bharo campaign” for “Haqeeqi Azadi” (real freedom) for two main reasons — “one, it is a peaceful, non-violent protest against the attack on our constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights. And second, the party is facing sham FIRs & National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases, custodial torture and attacks on journalists by the incumbent Government. (PTI)