LHC to hear petition seeking damages for destruction of property during TLP protests

  • LHC judge Justice Aatir Mehmood to hear case on Tuesday

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday fixed a hearing date for the petition seeking damages for the destruction of public property during protests led by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

It has been reported that the petition will be heard on Tuesday by LHC judge Justice Aatir Mehmood.

The petition was submitted by a citizen on Friday stating that the TLP protests caused “considerable damage to public and private property”.

The petition further stated that “the protection of the lives and wealth of citizens is the first responsibility of the government and added that not doing so had been a violation of citizens’ fundamental rights”.

Furthermore, the petition requests that the court direct the Punjab government to compensate for all damage caused to citizens.

Separately, four First Information Reports (FIRs) have been registered in Islamabad against mob violence involving more than 100 people, of which 20 are members of religiopolitical parties.

The countrywide demonstrations by TLP and other religiopolitical parties, which erupted on Wednesday after the Supreme Court announced acquitting Aasia Bibi, had left major highways — including the motorway connecting Lahore and Islamabad — blocked and routine life paralysed in major cities.

Mobile services in major cities had also been suspended.

The protests had come after Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a forceful rebuke to the TLP in a nationally-televised address in the ruling’s wake, saying the government would not tolerate violent protests.

On Friday, the government and the TLP had signed a deal to conclude the latter’s nationwide protest. One of the major concessions the government agreed to was to “initiate the legal process” to place Aasia Bibi’s name on the ECL [Exit Control List].

The state had also assured the party that it would not oppose a review petition filed against the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Aasia Bibi blasphemy case.

The government further promised to take appropriate legal action to redress any deaths that may have occurred during the protests against the Aasia Bibi verdict and to release all people picked up in connection with the protests starting October 30.

The TLP, in turn, only offered an apology “if it hurt the sentiments or inconvenienced anyone without reason”.