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LAHORE: The Lahore police on Friday picked up at least 250 miscreants from various retail and wholesale markets where they were allegedly forcing traders to close down their shops or business establishments.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Sohail Chaudhry said police sprung into action after receiving complaints that some stick-wielding miscreants were beating up traders in various markets and forcing them to close down their shops.

Acting on the information, the DIG said the police teams went to the markets and arrested as many as 250 people after analyzing CCTV footages in which they were seen forcefully closing down major markets, including Hall Road, Shahdara, Ichra and Babu Sabu besides others. He said that cases had been registered against them in various police stations while the operation was still under way.

“The miscreants threatened traders with dire consequence (in case of non-compliance with the order) and also blocked roads,” he said and disclosed that after the episode, the traders had formally requested police to provide them protection against such elements so that they could continue their uninterrupted business on Saturdays and Sundays.

“We will not let traders become hostage of some troublemakers,” he said, adding that elements involved in violence against the state do not deserve any leniency. He said that directions to all the divisional SPs had been issued for maintaining a close liaison with the representatives of traders to avoid any untoward eventuality.

Meanwhile, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) refuted reports that it had given a countrywide strike call for Oct 29 and 30.

APAT Central General Secretary said that some conspirators had doctored their images and circulated them on social media with the strike call. He said their only plan was to stage a protest demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on Nov 30 over tax-related issues.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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