Pakistan arrests 1,100 supporters of detained Tehreek-e-Labbaik cleric

In this Nov. 24, 2017 file photo, the head of the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Labbaik radical religious party, Khadim Hussain Rizvi prays during a sit-in protest in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP)
Updated 24 November 2018
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Pakistan arrests 1,100 supporters of detained Tehreek-e-Labbaik cleric

MULTAN, Pakistan: Police in an ongoing crackdown arrested some 1100 supporters of a detained radical Islamic cleric, who disrupted daily life with nationwide rallies following the acquittal of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, officials said Saturday.
Senior police officer Tahir Mahmood said that supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party were picked up in sweeps across the country, mainly in Punjab province, following the arrest of its leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Mahmood said police teams raided Labbaik party seminaries, the homes of party leaders and supporters and hiding places to net them.
He said police also arrested scores of Rizvi's supporters as they took to streets to protest his overnight arrest. He said most of the arrested men were sent to prison for one month.
He added that those charged with violence and arson in their protests over Asia Bibi's acquittal would be dealt with according to relevant laws.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the current crackdown on Labbaik party supporters has nothing to do with Asia Bibi's case. He said the arrests are being made to contain those exploiting the situation in the name of religion to gain political strength.
Rizvi's supporters held violent rallies against the Supreme Court's Oct. 31 acquittal of Bibi Rizvi has called for more protests on Sunday in the capital, Islamabad. Pre-empting the possible protest, police in the capital have set up security posts near a vital intersection that connects the capital with the garrison city of Rawalpindi. Rizvi and his supporters earlier this year blocked that intersection for 20 days protesting the change of a religious reference in a parliamentary document. That protest led to the resignation of the law minister of previous government.
Pakistan's hard-liners have threatened to kill anyone who insults Islam or speaks out against the country's blasphemy laws.


Owner of New Delhi hotel where fire killed 17 arrested

Updated 31 min 41 sec ago
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Owner of New Delhi hotel where fire killed 17 arrested

  • Authorities say the building had an unauthorized rooftop kitchen
  • Police say most of the deaths were caused by suffocation

NEW DELHI: Indian authorities say they have arrested the owner of a New Delhi hotel where 17 people were killed by a fire.
Police say Arpit Palace Hotel owner Rakesh Goel appeared Sunday in court, which ruled that police could take him into custody for questioning.
Two hotel managers have been in custody on suspicion of culpable homicide since last Tuesday's fire.
Authorities say the building had an unauthorized rooftop kitchen, which a video showed was engulfed in flames.
Police say most of the deaths were caused by suffocation. Police Additional Commissioner Amit Sharma said two people jumped from the six-story hotel to their deaths.
Sharma said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.