The Punjab government on Saturday submitted a report regarding the losses suffered during the protests by hard-line Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) following the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Christian woman Aasia Bibi in Pakistan’s most high-profile blasphemy last week.
According to the report, public and private property worth Rs260 million was damaged during the three-day protests by TLP activists. The protests began on Oct 31, when the SC announced the decision to acquit Aasia and lasted till Nov 2 when the government signed an agreement with the protesters.
The protesters blocked multiple roads across the country and set fire to vehicles at certain locations. The government then initiated a countrywide crackdown against those involved in vandalism and arson during the protests. Approximately 1,800 individuals were arrested and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). However, the government later announced that it would not make any further arrests and even exonerated TLP from the violent incidents.
On Nov 6, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the vandalism during the protests. He directed the federal and the provincial governments to submit a report on the destruction of public and private property during the protests.
According to a spokesperson of the top court, CJP Nisar sought a report about the damages in order to compensate those who suffered the loss of valuables and lives.